Concessionaire Requests Over $20m Intervention Fund For Dry Port
The Concessionaire of Funtua Inland Dry Port on Thursday said over $20m intervention fund would be needed to get the port operational within a year.
The Managing Director of Equatorial Marine Oil and Gas Company Limited, Mr Usman Iya-Abbas, disclosed this during the inspection of the port with the Nigerian Shippers Council in Katsina.
He said the port was concessioned to the company since 2006 and had made remarkable progress in terms of development.
He, however, said that the devaluation of the naira against the dollar over the years affected the progress and the total cost to get it operational.
Iya-Abbas said that the initial cost of the project was put at about $3bn, but with the current exchange rate, it was more than that.
He said, “Initially, when the project started, the feasibility study that was done, then, the entire budget was $3bn. As it is today, with the devaluation of naira over the years, the cost has really gone up beyond what it was initially estimated. Before, the naira was N170 to a dollar, but today we know how much the naira is to a dollar.
“If you do that, you will realise that the prices have really gone up and that is why we are approaching the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development located in Lome.
“They have come to inspect and to see the possibility of extending the facilities for the operations. We are looking at facilities between $20m and $50m.
“It depends on what type of intervention they can make, based on their assessment. We are hoping that after the exercise, they can give us between $15m to $20m. “
He, however, said that once the company got the intervention within six to one year, the dry port would commence operations.
“NSC has been very supportive to facilitate the work. The state government has been very cooperative; it has added some infrastructure to the port.
“It has also constructed the access road to the terminal and land acquisition.”