• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Tinubu moves to boost non-oil export with launch of Funtua Inland Dry Port

Tinubu moves to boost non-oil export with launch of Funtua Inland Dry Port

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu commissioned the Funtua Inland Dry Port in Katsina State on Saturday to further grow the country’s economy through non-oil exports and foster regional economic integration.

Situated strategically in Funtua, Katsina State, the port represents the third successful culmination among the six legacy Inland Dry Port projects spanning the nation’s six geopolitical zones.

Speaking at the commissioning, the President said the Funtua Inland Dry Port represents yet another step forward for Nigeria’s economic development.

The President, who was represented by George Akume, Secretary General of the Federation, said that the Funtua Inland Dry Port holds immense potential to enhance the ease of conducting international business for interior-based shippers, both importers and exporters and also aligns with the government’s commitment to diversify the economy towards non-oil exports.

According to him, the Port will grants importers and exporters located within the inland cities, as well as neighboring hinterland countries such as Niger, Chad, Northern Cameroon, and Central Africa, access to shipping and port services without the need to physically visit seaports as concept of Inland Dry Ports has gained prominence globally, particularly with the container revolution and the advent of door-to-door cargo delivery.

“This port, strategically located in Funtua, Katsina State, is the third to be completed and commissioned among the six legacy Inland Dry Port projects spread across our nation’s six geo-political zones.

“It is imperative to acknowledge the long-awaited anticipation from our hinterland business communities for such essential facilities. The Funtua Inland Dry Port holds immense potential to enhance the ease of conducting international business for interior-based shippers, both importers and exporters.

“In line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of my Administration, this development aligns with our commitment to diversify the economy towards non-oil exports”.

“This Port grants importers and exporters located within our inland cities, as well as neighboring hinterland countries such as Niger, Chad, Northern Cameroon, and Central Africa, access to shipping and port services without the need to physically visit seaports.

“Moreover, the Funtua Inland Dry Port offers importers the convenience of processing cargo clearance and receiving raw materials and machinery closer to their places of business. For exporters, it provides essential facilities for processing, packaging, consolidating, and forwarding exports worldwide.

“This infrastructure is integral to our Administration’s commitment to promoting export business across Nigeria, thereby achieving trade balance and creating employment opportunities for our youths” he stated.

The President reaffirmed that recognizing the vital role of Inland Dry Ports lines in connecting sea ports to the hinterlands, “I reaffirm our Administration’s commitment to prioritizing the completion and utilization of more dry port projects. The critical infrastructure necessary for the seamless operation of Inland Dry Ports are being targeted.

“Currently, extensive rehabilitation and upgrade works on roads, rail and waterway infrastructure are being scheduled. These efforts are to facilitate trade, reduce costs, and enhance the ease of doing business across the nation.

“I implore the general public, host communities and the State to consider these private investments as part of our national assets and ensure their protection”.

Also speaking at the commissioning, Oyetola Adegboyega, Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, stated that Katsina state has been ranked high in agricultural products and in other businesses in the country, such as the largest producer of cotton, second largest producer of sorghum, produces 13% of Nigeria’s sugarcane, placing it in second place in Nigeria as well as other cereals and legume crops.

“In addition to all these, the presence of several manufacturing industries in Katsina not only make it suited but most qualified to host an Inland Dry Port.

“Your Excellency Mr President, you may wish to recall that the Inland Dry Port Projects was conceived as part of Federal Government’s Ports reform programme designed to among others; decongest the seaports, while also taking shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters in the hinterland.

He said the ministry is also collaborating with the Ministries of Transportation and Works to help further increase ports efficiency, “for the Ministry of Transportation, we are collaborating on the intra-modal link between the sea ports and the inland dry ports, while the Ministry of Works is assisting in fixing the access roads to our ports. All these efforts are aimed at improving the ease of doing business in our port.”

On his part, Dikko Umar Radda, Governor of Katsina state, commended the efforts of the federal government in ensuring the completion of the Dry port.

He said the state contributed to the project by allocating 70 hactares of land as well as a 3 kilometers carriage for the port. Dikko therefore appealed to the regulating Agencies working in the facility to collaborate with the private sector and the host community in order to achieve the goals of establishing the port.

In his remarks, Puis Ukeyima Akutah, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), said the port will contribute immensely to economic growth of the state and the country at large. He therefore urged the Managing Director to ensure that the activities of the port promote trade in the region and country.