The Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, on Friday urged maritime stakeholders and trading associations to take the best advantage of facilities at the Inland Container Depots (ICDs) when fully operational.
Amaechi made the plea at a one-day sensitisation programme titled “Towards the Successful Take-Off of the Kaduna Inland Dry Port”, held in Kaduna.
The programme which was jointly organised by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), and Kaduna Inland Container Nigeria Ltd (ICNL) was mean to showcase the potential of the inland dry port.
“The Federal Executive Council on 15, March, 2006, approved the development of six inland Container Deport (ICD) projects on a Public Private Partnership basis under the Build Own Operate and Transport (BOOT) Agreement,” the Minister said.
He said that NSC was mandated to supervise the six gazetted facilities.
The Minister said that the Kaduna Inland Container Nigeria Ltd (ICNL) depot upgrading was approved in April 2011 by the former Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar at the request of the Kaduna State Government.
Amaechi said that the establishment of dry ports and truck transit park was promoted by the NSC as part of the solution to the problems of hinterland shippers who had inadequate access to the seaports.
He also talked about frequent congestion which had led to loss of cargoes in transit, carnage and accidents on land.
“The dry port has the potential benefits of not only reducing transport costs but also bringing shipping to the door steps of the shippers.
“A dry port will also generate employment opportunities for the teeming people of Kaduna State,” he said.
He said that there was need for administrative and operational collaboration with the stakeholders, adding that the NSC had already been collaborating with Nigeria Railway Corporation, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service.
Amaechi said that the nation’s neighbouring countries like Niger and Chad Republic would derive immense benefits from the ICD regime.
He said the ICD project would foster the integration of the hinterland into the international multi-modal transport system as part of global logistic transport chain.
The Minister said that the Federal Government had officially gazetted the dry port with Officlal Gazette No. 60 Vol. 102 dated May 26, 2015 and declared Kaduna Dry Port as a Port of Origin and Final Destination for imports and exports.
Amaechi said that the Kaduna dry port was the first dry port in Nigeria to be accorded the status of a full-fledged port. He commended the NSC for representing the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the Guarantor of these laudable projects even as he expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to the development and full implementation of dry ports and truck transit parks across the country.
Amaechi, however, commended the efforts of the Kaduna State Government in supporting the NSC by providing the enabling environment.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, said the Federal Government’s Inland Dry Port (IDP) project was conceived as part of government’s reform programme in the transport sector.
Bello said that project was designed to decongest the seaports and bring shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters in the hinterlands.
He said that the Federal Executive Council granted approval for the establishment of Inland Dry Ports in six locations such as Aba, Ibadan, Jos, Kano, Funtua and Maiduguri to build on Public Private Partnership (PPP) using BOOT model for a period ranging from 25 to 30years.
Bello said that the establishment of Inland dry ports would boost export activities through production of cash crops thereby revitalising the agricultural sector and consequently reduced the over-dependence on oil.
“The dry port will help to contribute to the reduction of transportation and transaction costs and will also attract various international and regional development services.
“The dry port will also improve Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state government.
“The NSC had worked assiduously to actualise the Kaduna project,” he said.
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