Gov. Ganduje seeks FEC’s approval for Kano Inland Dry Port, rail line extension
…As Shippers’ Council assures on December target to obtain approval
Following the importance of Dala Inland Dry Port to Kano’s economy and that of its neigbouring states, the Kano State Government has called on Federal Ministry of Transport through the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), to facilitate the approval and declaration of the Inland Port as a Port of Origin and Destination.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who made the request in Lagos on Friday during an official visit to Hassan Bello, executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), also called on the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to extend its rail line to the dry port in order to facilitate seamless cargo evacuation from the port.
“We also want Shipper’s Council to ensure the cooperation and collaboration between the shipping lines and their agents with the Inland Port to allow seamless flow of both import and export cargoes; facilitate the actualisation of the Inland Port to be a transport and logistics Free Zone as well as the linkages and access to the markets in the Sahel African countries particularly Chad and Niger Republics,” the governor solicited.
According to him, the state would exploit all the opportunities offered by the Port to aggressively grow exports in order to boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange in addition to growing Kano States internally generated revenue.
While appreciating the effort of Shippers’ Council in actualisation of the project, Gov. Ganduje said the state government is fully committed to supporting the realisation of the Port, which will facilitate efficient handling of both import and export cargoes from the state.
“The Kano State Government under my watch had provided the 200 hectares of virgin land free of encumbrances required for the two integrated projects, the Inland Dry Port and Special Economic Zone; critical infrastructure required for the project including construction of standard dual carriage access road, provision of power and water to the project site among others,” he said.
Earlier in his welcome, Hassan Bello, who acknowledged that the Inland Port has enjoyed the support of the state government that recently invested over N2.4 billion in development of infrastructure, assured that the Council is perfecting plans to ensure that the Port project would get Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval before December.
According to him, Nigeria has to get ready to receive and utilise the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which is expected to expand the size of African economy by $29 trillion in 2050, cover more than 1.2 billion people across 54 countries and generate over $3 billion in GDP.
Stating that it is not population or size that would make Nigeria to benefit from the ACFTA, Bello said that the country can only benefit from opportunities provided by the ACFTA depending on how far it has gone in building infrastructure and industries at state levels.
Bello further said that the Kano Inland Port would be a transit port that would connect landlocked countries of Niger Republic, Chad, Northern Cameroon and other Sahel African countries.
He however implored the concessionaire on the need to operate a modern dry port with electronic gate, good access roads devoid of gridlock, short delivery time of cargo, 24-hours port operation and multimodal approach to cargo delivery among others.
Emmanuel Onwodi, representative of Chidi Izuwah, director general of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) assured the state government that the commission would work with Shippers Council to get FEC approval for the Inland Port.