The Federal Government on Tuesday launched an operation manual for inland dry ports.
The manual was launched by the by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in Lagos.
The inland dry ports, which are located in the hinterland, were set up to deliver shipping services to shippers in non-coastal areas.
The dry ports, also known as inland container depots, are located in Isiala-Ngwa (Abia State), Erunmu (Oyo State), Heipang, Jos (Plateau State), Dala (Kano State), Funtua (Katsina State), Jauri (Borno State) and Kaduna (Kaduna State).
Speaking during the launch of the manual, the Minister of Transportation, Mua’zu Sambo, who was represented by Ewache Victor, noted that apart from the fact that the dry ports will engender trade flows and advance export of agricultural products, it would also serve as a viable source of revenue for host states.
“It is important to note that apart from its critical importance in facilitating international trade as well as transit cargo to landlocked countries, the inland dry port projects are intended to bring shipping activities closer to shippers in the hinterland and increase cargo throughput, act as a catalyst for improved trade flows, to boost inland trading, promote export of agricultural products, thus leading to multi-product-oriented economy, create employment opportunities that would ultimately stem rural-urban migration, and to act as a source of internally generated revenue to the host states as well as revenue source to the Federal Government,” the minister said.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Emmanuel Jime pledged the agency’s commitment to strict adherence to the execution of the manual to uphold the principles of professionalism in handling containers in the ports, while assuring that the facilities would be digitalised.
“It may be pertinent to state that this manual would be used as a measure of performance by the regulator (in this case, the Nigerian Shippers Council) and will be subjected to future review to be in tandem with obtainable best practices, upon agreement of the two parties – the operator and the regulator.
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, who was represented at the event by NPA’s Assistant General Manager, Operations, Ayodele Durowaiye, said, “The effective operations of the IDPs will provide options for shippers and consignees outside Lagos State as it will increase the possibility of export cargoes. The authority will support other government agencies under the Ministry of Transportation to aid the movement of import and export cargoes and boxes in the country.”
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