The Federal Government has inaugurated a technical committee for the establishment of the Kaduna dry port with a view to de-congesting the country’s seaports.
In March this year, the Federal Executive Council approved the establishment of inland container depots in the country and explained that the concept would be run on a public-private partnership, using the build, own, operate and transfer model.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who inaugurated the committee in Abuja, stated that the dry port would help to reduce the cost of transiting cargoes to landlocked neighbouring countries, improve turnaround time of ships and subsequently facilitate the reduction of freight charges.
He added that the Kaduna dry port would act as a catalyst for improved trade flows as well as boost inland trading, and revitalise export of agricultural produce, thus leading to multi-product economy and creation of employment opportunities that would ultimately stem rural-urban migration.
Amaechi commended the Nigerian Shippers’ Council management for facilitating the development of stop points for trucks, which he termed truck transit parks, and explained that the TTPs would act as catalysts for the successful operation of the Kaduna dry port.
He said, “I understand that the pilot scheme is kick-starting from Mararaba Jos, Kaduna State. I was also informed that the ICD and TTP projects were both conceived to facilitate efficient cargo delivery to our hinterland for importers and exporters, provide access to port services, stimulate economic development, boost export of agricultural commodities, provide employment opportunities and increase revenue generation to the state.”
The minister expressed hope that at the end of the committee’s assignment, it might be converted into a ministerial standing committee to supervise and ensure the full implementation of the ICD projects across the country.
The 17-man committee was given six months to submit its report.