The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and the Federal Ministry of Transportation have restated commitment to creating an enabling environment for actualisation and optimal functioning of Inland Dry Port (IDP) projects in the country, to ease congestion at seaports.
Emmanuel Jime, the executive secretary/CEO, the Nigerian Shippers Council, stated this at the weekend in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, during a sensitisation/presentation of operational manual for inland dry ports to stakeholders.
Jime, who was represented by Ify Okolue, director, inland transport services, of NSC, said that the council was at the forefront of the Federal Government’s efforts to facilitate the establishment of IDPs across the country.
He said that the strategic policy will not only aid in relieving congestion at the country’s ports, but also bring shipping and port services closer to the doorsteps of importers and exporters, thereby catalysing smoother trade operations.
“Establishment of IDPs, will enhance revenue generation to the country, as well as the host states, stimulate agricultural production for exports, thereby ensuring economic diversification and ensure generation of employment opportunities for youths, thereby stemming insecurity and other criminalities in the society”
Jime said that the proposed inland dry port at Ntigha, in Isiala-Ngwa North local government area of Abia State, was one of the six legacy projects of the Federal Government, entrusted to “Eastgate Inland Container Limited, through a concession.
Other gazetted inland dry ports in Nigeria are Hipang, Jos, Plateau State, Funtua, Katsina State, Dala, Kano State, Hauri, Maiduguri, Bornu State and Erunmu, Ibadan in Oyo State.
The Kaduna container deport was later upgraded to the status of an inland dry port and was commissioned in 2018.
He said that the collective dedication of critical stakeholders, including the Abia State government and the host community, encouraged the council’s optimism that the project will reach completion within the shortest feasible timeframe.
The inland dry port projects are being nurtured, through public-private partnership (PPP), leveraging the innovative build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) model.
Contained in the operational manual is the description of processes and procedures underpinning the operational activities of inland dry ports.
The IDP operational manual had been previously launched in Lagos on August 2, 2022, in Kano on July 15, 2022, and Port Harcourt, Rivers State on August 9, 2022.
The manual features a comprehensive explanation of dry port functions and activities, precise layout designs that shape the port’s architecture, clear delineation of activities to be executed at the dry port with a step-by-step operational sequence.
It also contains an elucidation of dry port operation procedure in the context of both export and import activities, alignment of dry port practices with global best practices, endured standards and quality control in all aspects of dry port operations.
Some of the stakeholders in attendance were the Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry , Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), Abia Shippers Association, International Traders Association, Aba finished leather makers, Garment makers, National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), among others.