HC Deb 18 February 1953 vol 511 cc130-1W
Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the approximate production of groundnuts in Nigeria for 1951–52; how much of these are still awaiting transport; and what effective steps were taken last year to provide adequate transport facilities.

56. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the tonnage of peanuts lying at Kano awaiting transportation to the coast.

Mr. Lyttelton

The only precise figures of groundnut production available relate to purchases for export. In 1951–52, 418,000 tons of Nigerian groundnuts, or nearly three times the previous season's tonnage, were purchases for export. Substantial improvements in groundnut railings have recently been made and consequently the backlog at the end of January had been reduced to 60,000 tons. If the present rate of railings is maintained, both this backlog and the 300,000 tons of the present season's crop still in the Kano area would be cleared before the beginning of the next season.

The great bulk of these groundnuts must be moved by rail. As regards the last part of Question No. 47, I would refer the hon. Member to my statement in the House on 17th July last. Since then the staff position of the Nigerian Railways has improved, considerable numbers of additional locomotives and wagons, delivery of which is to begin this year, are on order, and certain other measures to improve the efficiency of the railway are being taken

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