Executive Secretary of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Barr. Emmanuel Gowon has called for the revitalisation of Inland Container Depots (ICD’s) across the country.
Gowon said the revitalisation would help in the development of the maritime industry and the economy of the landlocked states and Nigeria in general.
He said Kano ICD was the only ICD partially operational in the country while that of Jos and some others across the country were partially dead.
“The ICD’s are not taking off strongly, strictly speaking they are not functional, on paper we may say they are functional but truly they are not operating at a level that they can reduce pressure on port.
“They have not really positioned themselves to be a very viable alternative to coming to the port,” he stated.
Gowon said Kano ICD was not the only partially dead depot in the country but also that of Jos and others across the country.
He said, “The ICD at Kano is operating but their operation is not much that you can know that they exist even that of Jos is under threat as the Plateau State government is threatening to relocate them away from the place.
“If the ICD became operational, we can move goods from the ICD to the interior such as Kano, Yobe, Maiduguri and the rest within a short distance.
“The Kano ICD and others in the north will help our trucks because the distance to be covered will be a shorter distance. This will help our trucks and our business, we will have lesser distance to work than from Lagos to the north.
“Also, our investment will last longer, the life span of our investment will increase, because they are not plying long distance.
“We should not forget that most of these places we are talking about are landlocked with no navigable river that containers can be moved by rails so we have no other choice than to use the trucks,” he said.
The NARTO boss however advised that for the ICDs to be operational, the rail system must be fully revitalized.
“If the rails is efficient, we will have a functional ICD but without a functional rail system, our ICD will remain in this poor position.
“If they are revived, our operations will be limited, we can move goods from the ICD to the interior, this will help our trucks and our business we will have lesser distance to work than from Lagos to the north or other part of the country.