Succour may have come the way of importers and exporters in the North Western part of the country, as President Muhammadu Buhari is set to commission Nigeria's first Inland Dry Port in Kaduna, tomorrow.
The dry port is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road, rail and air to a sea port, and will operate as a centre for trans-shipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.
The Director, Special Duties, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Ignatius Nweke, who confirmed this to The Guardian yesterday, said the port, built by the Kaduna Inland Dry Port Limited, is among the seven dry ports being promoted by the Council.
According to him, the port has the capacity to handle 29,000 tonnes of cargoes yearly in the first phase of operation, and likely to double when fully completed.
"It is also estimated to generate no fewer than 5,000 direct employments at the commencement of operations. The Kaduna Dry Port, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, would receive cargo from Apapa Port in Lagos, through the railway or by road and also export goods through the same channel," he said.
Nweke explained that the idea to establish the Inland Container Depots(ICDs), in the hinterland was informed by the need to reduce the congestion in Lagos ports, and provide relief for the busy Apapa road.He said the port when inaugurated would provide an easy process for the exportation of farm produce from Kaduna and neighbouring states as well as landlocked countries.
Nweke noted that Kaduna State is the largest producer of ginger in Nigeria, adding that the market for Kaduna ginger would improve tremendously once the dry port commenced full operations on Thursday.
According to him, it would also boost the exportation of the produce and others such as hibiscus, sesame seed, Shea butter, and a host of others to China, Singapore, America, U.K. and other countries.He assured that the NSC would fully support the Kaduna Inland Dry Port to achieve its employment and revenue generation initiatives.
He recalled that other locations of Inland Dry Ports had been approved, and already concessioned to private sector operators by the ICDs Implementation Committee of the Federal Ministry of Transportation."These are Isiala Ngwa (Abia State); Erunmu, Ibadan (Oyo State); Heipang (Plateau State); Zawachiki (Kano State); Funtua (Katsina State); and Maiduguri (Borno State)," he said.