• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ibadan dry port for inauguration before year end

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Indications are rife that the Ibadan Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Erunmu, Oyo State, will begin operations before the year runs out.

BusinessDay gathers that the legal framework to establish the dry port as port of origin and destination so that cargo can be consigned to them awaits President’s assent.

The legal framework that has been a major delay for the running of the dry ports, it was learnt, that the President will in the next few weeks sign the bill for the smooth take off of the ICDs, especially the one at Ibadan that already has all the facilities in place.

The Ibadan ICD is one of the five ICDs and three Container Freight Stations (CFS) approved by the Federal Government in 2006 and gazetted in 2007

The other ICDs are located in Abia, Plateau, Bauchi and Kano, while the three container freight stations are sited in Katsina, Borno, and Gombe.

Idris Audu Umar, minister of transport, at a parley recently with Oyo State government led by Deputy Governor Moses Adeyemo-Alake hinted that President Goodluck Jonathan will any moment from now sign the bill into law to allow all the ICDs take off fully.

The minister also said that 1.5 kilometres stretch rail siding at Erunmu, the site of the ICD in Ibadan, was part of the ongoing railway rehabilitation programme of the Federal Government.

The rehabilitation of the rail from Lagos to Kano is being done presently by the Federal Government.

Idris, who emphasised the importance of the ICDs, assured that the Ibadan dry port will soon be inaugurated.

The new concessionaires to operate the ICDs and CFS are Eastgate Inland Container Terminals Limited, whose depot is located in Isiala-Ngwa, Aba, Abia State, with 50,000 twenty-foot Equivalent Unit of Container; Catamaran Logistics Limited, with its depot located in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 50,000 TEU; Dala Inland Dry Port Limited, located in Kano, with 20,000 TEU; Duncan Maritime Services, with its depot in Jos, Plateau State, with 20,000 TEU capacity; Equatorial Marine Nigeria Limited, Funtua with 10,000 TEU, and Migfo Nigeria Limited, Maiduguri, with 10,000 TEUs capacity.

Oyo State government who owns 35 stake in Catamaran Logistics Limited had earlier sought the re-designation of the ICD status in Ibadan to an Inland Dry Port (IDP).

With this, the IDP will attain the status of port of origin and destination so that cargo can be consigned to it.

Few weeks back, a strong delegation from Oyo State led by secretary to the state government, Olalekan Alli met with the executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in Lagos, in which he appealed for more seriousness to be attached to the ICD business.

Alli said that full operation of Ibadan ICD would boost Oyo State revenue, attract investors and increase employment of indigenes, saying “we believe this is the time we want to get to that level of industrialisation, to check unemployment and move in many investors as much as possible.”

In his response at the meeting, Hassan Bello, executive secretary/CEO of NSC, said that the idea of dry ports was conceived by the NSC to decongest the port and subsequently boost the nation’s economy.

According to him, these ports are supposed to be designated and gazetted as port of destination and port of origin, as “this has been going on because we have been steadfast in pushing and promoting the idea of dry ports.”

REMI FEYISIPO