The Federal Government has stated its committment to link all approved inland dry ports across the six geopolitical zones in the country with rail lines to facilitate domestic and international trade.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who stated this in a keynote address titled: “Prospects of the Dala Inland Dry Port as an Investment Target for International Trade” at the unveiling of the theme and logo of the Dala Inland Dry Port (IDP), in Abuja today.
“In this regard, the Dala Inland Dry Port in Zawachiki would be given the necessary attention by considering possible options to align the facility with the Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge rail line already in existence” Amaechi said.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, further pointed out that: “A state with sizable number of textiles and agro-allied industries, a major assembly plant, hides and skins industries and several manufacturing plants deserves an Inland Dry Port”.
Speaking further, Amaechi said “the Inland Dry Port Project was conceived as part of Federal Government’s Ports reform to decongest the seaports, while also taking shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters in the hinterlands. Subsequently, in March, 2006 the Federal Executive Council granted approval for the establishment of these critical transport infrastructure at chosen locations across the country and concessioned them to private sector operators on Public Private Partnership (PPP) using the Build, Own, Operate Transfer (BOOT) Model. Dala Inland Dry PORT in Kano was among the six IDPs and was concessioned to Messrs Dala inland Dry Port Nigeria Limited”.
He also disclosed that it is the high premium that the federal government places on the operationality of the inland dry ports that led the Ministry to set up a Ministerial Committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, “to ensure the realization of the Dala IDP and other ports with a view to looking at the challenges mitigating against its development since 2006 and recommend workable solutions to make them fully operational.”
Identifying some benefits of the IDP, Amaechi said it will provide stimulus to the economy of the state, boost inland trading, and revitalize export of agricultural products, increase revenue generation and provide jobs for the teeming unemployed.
He equally appreciated the efforts of the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, and the Management of Dala IDP for organizing the summit to create awareness for investors and port users on the services of the dry port, while calling on shippers, investors and port users to take full advantage of the investment opportunity to patronize port for export and import purposes.
The Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, during his presentation disclosed that Dala IDP was conceived years ago but existed only on paper, until his administration provided the political will, adding “We are spending over N 2.7 billion for access roads, fencing of the whole side, providing water, electricity and security around the area.
”Speaking further, he said: “We have had extensive discussions with the Republic of Niger, Republic of Chad, Northern Cameroun and even Republic of Central Africa and they have all agreed to utilize this very important Dry Port”.
According to the Governor, the unveiling of the logo and theme of the IDP is so important to the people of Kano and to the development of Nigeria as the State is currently amongst the highest producers of rice in the country and has the highest rice processing mills in Africa.
He lauded the stakeholders for their support, assuring that Kano State government will continue to provide an enabling environment to ensure that the inland dry port provides the best services in the world as far as IDP is concerned
Also speaking the Executive secretary Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime appreciated the Kano State Government for releasing over N2.5 billion in support of the Dala project and called on other states to emulate the gesture and assured of NSC and Ministry of Transportation’s commitment in the realisation of the port projects in the country.
Earlier, the Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness, Aminu Ado Bayero, said the Emirate Council will give all the necessary support for the completion of the Dala IDP. He, however, expressed concern over the slow pace of work on the IDP and the Kano-Kaduna rail line project and appealed to all concerned to ensure the projects are completed as scheduled.
In attendance were: Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Chairman/ CEO BUA Group, Alh. Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission , Sen. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman Dala Inland Dry Port, Ahmad Rabiu amongst others.
D (Press & PR)
7th March, 2022