• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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FG to link railway lines with ICDs to boost international trade



The Federal Government has said it will link the railway lines being developed to the Inland Container Deports (ICDs) to facilitate international trade and de-congest the ports as well as bring goods and services closer to importers.

Consequently, the government has pledged to support investors in ICDs to enable them quickly develop the ICDs (dry Ports) to boost the economy of the nation and create jobs.

Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, gave the assurance on Tuesday in Abuja after he met with various concessionaires to discuss issues bothering on the development of ICDs projects across the country.

At least six ICDs will be developed across the country, located in Kano, Kaduna, Funtua in Katsina state, Isiala Agwa in Abia, Jos in Plateau and Ibadan in Oyo state.

He explained that the linking of the railways lines to the ICDs will ensure that imported goods can get to Nigerians quickly without the stress of having to truck them all the way from Lagos, Port Harcourt or Warri.

“We have assured the concessionaires that whatever it takes to assist them to conclude their investments, the federal government will do that. They have had some challenges, those ones that pertain to the state government, we will be glad to meet with the state government so that they can render their own support” he said.

“The ICDs will create employment. Government is trying to revive the economy and they are a great part of that process. So, that is the conclusion of our meeting. First and foremost, it will decongest the ports; it will bring goods and services closer to the importer.

On the update of the Port Reforms he said, “When we do the performance audit, we will determine if we will go into forensic audit. What we get will determine our next step” he explained.

Also speaking, Hassan Bello, the executive secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, said “we at the Nigerian Shippers Council supervise the inland dry project. Developing ICDs will bring shipping to the door steps of shippers in the hinterlands.

“This will cut the cost of transportation substantially and create jobs in places where they are located and bring shipping to the doorsteps of inland shippers. It will also stimulate the economy of the places where they are located because of the value chain around dry ports. So, we are going to duplicate the sea economy that we have in Lagos at the ICDs.

“The concessionaires have been facing some challenges for some time and that is why we are meeting now. It is a new era, new opportunities and we are going to make sure that the challenges are met. Most of the concessionaires are moving to site very soon” he assured.