• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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BusinessDay

Non-gazette of approved inland dry ports delays take-off

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Non-gazette of the concept of inland dry ports, introduced by the Federal Government twelve years ago, in the country is hampering the commencement of the designated inland ports nation-wide.

The affected dry ports were approved for the commercial towns of Kano, Maiduguri, Funtua, Ibadan, and Aba, among others, by the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000, but up till now are yet to take-off.

According to industry analysts, the idea of introducing dry ports across the country was conceived as a means of fast-tracking shipping operations. They, however, said it requires ministerial declaration in form of gazette to make it effective.

For the ports to be operational, the Federal Ministry of Transport is required to officially declare them ‘ports of origin and destination’, which implies that cargoes dispatched through them will not attract new wave of Customs handling and duties, apart from those attracted at the ports.

Confirming this development to BusinessDay, Ahmad Rabi’u`, chairman, Dala Inland Dry Port Nigeria Limited, one of the concessionaires given approval to operate dry ports in the country, said that the non-gazette of the ports is responsible for the delay in the development of the Kano Inland Dry Port.

Rabi’u, who is national vice-president, National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), attributed the delay in the ministerial declaration to administrative bottleneck.

Other reasons responsible for the delay, according to him, was the incessant change of ministers, which makes it difficult for some of the previous heads of the ministry to deal with the issue with the urgency it deserved.

“As you are aware the Dala Inland Dry Port which our company is developing in the commercial city of Kano is among the eight given approval by the Obasanjo regime twelve years ago.

“We signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the MDAs charged with the regulation of all procedures linked with the actualisation of the project, particularly the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in 2002.

“The project is planned for execution under a build, operate, and transfer (BOT) arrangement, and Governor Rabi`u Musa Kwankwaso during his first tenure in office approved 200 hectares of land for the project at Zawachiki Industrial Settlement near Challawa.

“But up till today, we are unable to start operation at the port as a result of the non-gazette of the project as a port of origin and destination for goods by the Federal Ministry of Transport”, he explained.

Rabi’u further disclosed that the delay in the take-off of the project which is being executed in partnership with the Kano State government and the Kano Emirate Council has been a source of concern to Kano business community.

 

ADEOLA AJAKAIYE, Kano