The Federal Government will designate the six approved Inland Container Depots (ICDs) as Ports of Origin, according to the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar.
Umar made this known in an interview in Abuja.
The approved ICDs are located at, Isiala Ngwa in Abia, Funtua in Katsina, Ibadan, Kano, Jos, and Maiduguri.
Umar said the decision to designate the depots as Ports of Origin was sequel to the request by financiers of the projects.
The minister said that the operators of the ICDs were faced with the challenge of finance because the financiers of the project requested that the depots be designated Ports of Origin before they could make funds available.
He said, “We are working assiduously to ensure that the declaration is made on the depots. The financiers are insisting that the ports must be designated as ports of origin and destination for export and import of cargoes as a pre-condition to extend any financial indulgence to the operators.
“This means that cargoes can be generated from the ports, and then cargoes can be charged and cleared from the ports without going through the regular cost in clearing cargoes.
“As soon as approval is granted that cargoes can be generated and indeed discharged and cleared in the ports, they will be in operation.”
Umar recalled that he was in Funtua for the ground breaking ceremony of the ICD located in the town.
He said the concept of the development of inland dry ports in some locations in the country was in line with the Federal Government’s port reform measures.
The minister said that the measures were designed to decentralise port services and strengthen port operations.
He said It would promote the movement of goods with minimal delays and cost and eliminate trade barriers,” he said.
Umar said that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), the implementing agency, would regulate, monitor and coordinate the project.
The ICDs, according to the minister, are dry ports equipped to handle and temporarily store containers and
The depots are equivalent of seaports or airport which can receive goods directly from their points of origin.