The federal government has urged investors to key into the immense opportunities inherent in the Inland Dry Ports (IDP) and the proposed Truck Transit Parks (TTP) being promoted by the Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC).
Speaking yesterday at a breakfast meeting tagged: 'Financing Transport Infrastructure: Inland Dry Ports and Truck Transit Parks' organised by the NSC in Lagos, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the country transport infrastructure possess huge opportunities that everyone should come together to develop a strategy to take advantage of it.
The vice president who was represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Infrastructure, Kolade Sofolahan, said the country infrastructure deficit is a huge opportunities that must be tapped into.
According to him, "We have infrastructural opportunities not a problem in Nigeria. It's a huge opportunity that everyone should come together to develop a strategy to take advantage of. It is described as crisis but I see it as an opportunity. We have to think about how to grow our roads, TTP and IDP in a way that it is integrated to diversify our economy."
Also speaking, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed that the federal government has approved and concession the establishment of six Inland Container Depots across the geopolitical zones.
He also said the federal government has identified the TTPs as priority projects and provided institutional and legal framework for the establishment of TTPs by the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan 2014-2043.
Specifically, he said: "Government have approved and concession the establishment of six inland container depot across the geo-political zones at Erunmu, Ibadan in South West; Isiala-Ngwa, Aba in the South-East; Futua, Katsina and Zawachiki, Kano in the North-West; Heipang, Jos in North Central and Jauri, Maiduguri in North-East.
"Construction work at the recently concession Kaduna ICNL Inland Dry Port has been completed and awaiting inauguration for full operations. The inland container depots are port of Origin for exports and origin for imports and will see transportation of cargoes to the hinterland and even landlocked neighbouring countries."
The minister said the ICDS has been designated as consolidation centres for export of non-oil agricultural commodities and solid minerals products.
He said: "I intend to very soon direct the Nigerian Shippers' Council to open talks with the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) to obtain export processing zone status for the ICDs. In the ICDS, there are great opportunities for investments (Added Values) including warehousing, commodity processing, packaging among others.
"With the concession of the six Inland Container Depots across the country, TTPs known variously as Rest Stops, Rest Area in other jurisdiction will be inevitable since road transport account for over 90 percent of all freight and passenger movement in the country."
Present at the breakfast meeting included private sector operators, ECOWAS Bank for investment, NEXIM Bank, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu; Representative of Governor of Sokoto state, Prof. Bashir Garba and Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside.