As the Kaduna Inland Dry Port (KIDP) prepares to commenceme full operation, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has solicited the cooperation of stakeholders towards ensuring a smooth operation of the facility.
This is even as the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has assured of its readiness to dedicate 20 container wagons to the service of the dry port.
Speaking at a meeting with stakeholders including shipping companies, terminal operators and the Nigeria Customs Service in Lagos on Thursday, Executive Secretary of the NSC, Hassan Bello said the federal government was desirous of making the Kaduna dry port a success, hence the need for stakeholders to work together.
According to him, “The idea is not just to establish an inland port but a model dry port that is automated, free of hassles and with less traffic management. The operators must learn from the challenges of the seaport from the onset to avoid such challenges. One of them is traffic management. We have seen how we have been in the traffic management issue because of one mode of transportation linking the port.
“The federal government is very anxious about the success of this project. The reason why we are here is to seek for your suggestions and cooperation on how best we can go about it.
“Things that are new, there are always teething problems inside but I am sure if we work together, we will provide that synergy needed. We are also discussing with Customs about their procedures.
“We need the capacity of the rail to be frequent, predictable and certain. It is good that the Managing Director of the NRC is a very strong partner of this project and he is also aware of this issue.”
The Managing Director of the NRC, Engr. Fidet Okhiria urged the operators of the facility to ensure Nigerians enjoy the benefit of the dry port.
“We are expecting 20 container wagons in June/July of this year, and I want to assure everybody that those wagons will be dedicated to the services of the Kaduna Inland Dry Port.
“With the current backing we are getting from the federal government, we can assure stakeholders that we will be getting their cargoes to the Kaduna Inland Dry Port. We just hope our wagons would not be delayed at the Kaduna
Dry Port. Once they come in, they should be loaded to ensure efficiency of the system,” Okhiria said.
The Chairman of KIDP, Tope Bolashile expressed confidence that with the support and cooperation of stakeholders, the dry port will run efficiently and also improve the ease of doing business in the country.
“Over the past decade that ICNL, Kaduna State government and the Shippers’ Council have been working on developing this dry port, we have got to the stage where we can only take it forward with your support and cooperation.
“The ease of doing business in Nigeria will improve drastically if we can have a successful dry port and other dry ports in Nigeria can come up. We are already losing free traffic to neighbouring countries so we should work together to make Nigeria a very attractive place to do business,” he said.