Hassan Bello, executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), has said that the Kano State Government has demonstrated a keen interest in the Dala Inland Dry Port in Kano by committing about N2 billion worth of infrastructure necessary for the port project.
According to him, the state government has already awarded contracts for infrastructure development. He disclosed that the Dala Inland Dry Port, which is the concessionaire of the dry port project, has gotten technical partners, a development which is expected to fasten the pace of the project.
Bello, who was not pleased with the pace of work at the Isiala Ngwa dry port in Abia State, expressed concern that so much was yet to be done on the project.
Recall that worried about the slow pace of work on some of the Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) in the six geo-political zones of the country as a result of paucity of funds, the Council had last year considered assisting concessionaires to attract investors and funding.
The dry port projects include the Kaduna, Kano, Jos, Isiala Ngwa in Abia State, Maiduguri, Ibadan and Benin in Edo state. Currently, apart from the Kaduna Port, which started operations about two years ago, the rest of the Inland Port projects were yet to be completed by the concessionaires due to lack of fund.
However, the Council had approached the Commonwealth Enterprise Investment Council (CWEIC) to be involved in the search for interested investors for the port projects.
At that time, Bello led the management team of the Council to attend the Advisory Council Meeting of CWEIC held in Lagos last year during which a lot of business opportunities across and beyond Nigeria were laid bare.
Aside from Dry Port projects, the Council is also interested in getting investors for other transport infrastructure projects such as Truck Transit Parks (TTP) and Border Information Centres.
“The dry port project is imperative to trade facilitation as it will enable shippers in the hinterland to import and export without having to travel to Lagos seaports or other seaports. For instance, with the Kaduna Port, importers in any part of the world can indicate it as Port of Destination for their goods instead of using seaports,” Bello said.
He said that businessmen from the north can also export through Kaduna Port without having to go through seaports.
In terms of movement of goods, Bello has assured that the Federal Government through the Transport Ministry was working on rail connection between the dry ports and seaports to ensure smooth cargo movement.
On the Truck Transit Project (TTP), he disclosed that progress is also being made in respect of the Lokoja project as the Kogi State Governor has concluded arrangements to pay compensation for the council to advertise PPP project.
Bello further disclosed that the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, will be donating 108 hectares for the Truck Park along Abaji local government area.