The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has said that the Inland Container Depot (ICDs) in Dala, Kano State and in Funtua, Katsina State will commence operations before May this year.
The Acting Director-General of ICRC, Michael Ohiani, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the decision for the two ICDs to commence operations this year was reached at a meeting before the ICRC, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the concessionaires.
He said the Dala ICD has capacity for 20,000 TEUs while Funtua can handle 10,000 TEUs.
Ohiani said the meeting sought to find solutions to the factors hindering the completion of the facilities, which were concessioned since 2006. Six ICDs, including the ones in Dala and Funtua, were concessioned by the NSC to various private operators.
He said 16 years after the concession agreements were signed, most of the ICDs were still at five percent completion while only two had made appreciable progress.
“We want to rub minds and come up with how we can make progress: what are the challenges taking into consideration that these projects have already gotten the President’s attention and more so, we need to decongest our seaports,” he said.
He said the concessionaires blamed the delay on in the provision of land by state governments; lack of narrow gauge rail lines in and out of the dry ports which they noted was important to make the operation of the ports efficient; as well as, difficulties in accessing funds from banks.
In view of the delay in execution, he said the concessionaires stressed the need for a new agreement, pointing out that an agreement started in 2017 between them and the NSC but it was yet to be cleared by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
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