NIGERIAN INLAND DRY PORTS AWAITS COMPLETION
The Executive secretary Nigerian shippers Council Barr.Hassan Bello has assured the public that the completion of various Inland Dry Ports in the nation are underway.
The Jos Dry Port is now about 65 per cent completed, while work is progressing on the Benin Dry Port.
The dry ports would receive cargo from Apapa, Lagos, and other seaports through the railway and send the cargoes through the same channel. This will largely reduce port congestion, reduce truck haulage, and ultimately provide relief for the busy road networks.
With the Kaduna Inland Dry Port recently scaling through executive clearance and waiting to be commissioned in the next few months, the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has raised hope for the completion of a number of other dry port projects in the country.
According to Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers Council, the Kaduna ICD will be commissioned in the next three months to facilitate commercial activities in the region.
Bello, who was optimistic about the speed of work on the project, said he is working with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) as well as the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, to shore up the nation’s exports through dry ports.
According to him,“The dry port will buoy economic activities of the region, just like Lagos, where we have seaports and its impact on the economy of Lagos. The same thing follows in Port Harcourt and Calabar where we are thinking about bulk export and import.
"On export, for example, we will like to see optimal utilisation of agricultural resources. This is a huge agricultural location and there are lots of demands for agricultural goods. So, we are expecting clusters of industries to spring up to process the goods and export them through this port.
“This port is a panacea for the congestion in Apapa Port because a port is not a warehouse. So, goods coming in should be cleared as soon as they arrive,” he said. Bello said many more dry ports will soon spring up in Nigeria, just as the Jos project is expected to come on-stream before the end of this year.
“The idea with Jos is that many firms have expressed interest because there are lots of tonnages in Jos, just as it is in Kaduna,” he said. The managing director, Atlantique Marine, Charles Akhigbe, said the project would boost trade and commercial activities in the country. Before now, 24 per cent of the nation’s trade and commercial activities cross the borders informally.
In his words,“The project is very nice and good for the whole country. This is what we should have in our economy so that there will be what you call formal trade and commercial activities rather than the prevailing informal activities.
“This will encourage young people to be entrepreneurs or industrialists because you can stay in Kaduna and order for your goods from abroad, and the freight forwarders and the shippers will put your container on a train and they bring it straight to you".
A dry port, also known as Inland Container Depot (ICD), is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport, and operating as a centre for the transshipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.