Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has said that the Ibadan Inland Dry Port was a project that is after the heart of his administration.
He added that the government would take necessary measures to remove all bottlenecks holding back the project.
The governor, who stated this while receiving members of staff of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) led by its Executive Secretary, Emmanuel Jime at the Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, said he would love to see the dry port start operation as soon as possible.
He said, “This visit is coming at a very right time. The Ibadan Inland Dry Port is a project that is after our heart in this administration. When we came in, we thought it was something that as we were opening the rail line, a few months after, we would be pushing the envelope as far as economic activities around the port area is concerned, but here we are.
“I listened to the Executive Secretary on the work plan, he stopped at financial closure by May next year. We want to know when this project will be a reality. When are we going to lift the first cargo from that dry port?
“Yes, I have been talking to the Honourable Minister of Transportation, and yes, the stakeholders’ engagement you talked about is important and it is sanctioned. We don’t have anything to hide in this administration. If we have things that should have been done on our side that are having a negative impact on the progress of this project, please let us know. We will remove those impediments almost immediately.
“If there are things that we also need to do to fast-track this project, we really want to do it; because this project is a game-changer for us. We have written to the Federal Government to give us the road from Ojoo to the Moniya Interchange. People are waiting to invest in the construction of that road.
“We don’t want to recreate Apapa here and the only way we can have the maximum benefit from that project is for us to put all the safeguards in place such that the headache from Apapa is not just transferred to this place.
“We want to be your partner and do everything for the early realisation of this project. And it should not be so difficult because I am accessible and you can reach out to me directly.”
Earlier in his remarks, Jime appreciated Makinde’s commitment towards the realisation of the dry port project. He noted that the southwest geopolitical zone had always been strategic towards the implementation of the council’s mandate due to the presence of the Apapa and TinCan Island ports and other industrial activities in the zone.
He said that the proposed dry port would be developed by CRCC Construction Company with an investment outlay of $94 million. He said the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi is expected to present the full business case of the project to the Federal Executive Council for approval on December 15. He said by May 2022, both the commercial and financial closure on the project will be attained.
“We are still working very closely with the concessionaires. They have an idea of how much time they need. We also have an idea of how much time we are going to give them. So, there is just a little bit that has not been completely resolved yet. But the maximum cannot be more than two years if we are going to go with the suggestion that the concessionaires are making.
“In our own estimation, we think this project can be done in a year. But, it won’t be more than two years at the maximum. We have a work plan to deliver the project. 90 per cent on FBC has been resolved. Also, transaction advisers have prepared the necessary document and on November 19, the Shippers’ Council will submit the Full Business Case to the Federal Ministry of Transportation for forwarding to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC),” Jime said.
He however identified outstanding issues regarding the project to include the need for payment of compensation for the 90 hectares of land acquired for the project, provision of infrastructure and need for engagement with host communities and other stakeholders for their support.
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