The Dala Inland Dry Port in Kano has received a boost of N2 billion infrastructure from the state government to facilitate the project, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, has said.
Bello, who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen, stated that the Kano State Government has demonstrated interest in the dry port project in the state with the commitment of N2 billion infrastructure project necessary for the dry port.
Bello said the state government has already awarded contracts for the infrastructure development.
Meanwhile, THISDAY gathered that the concessionaire of the dry port project, Dala Inland Dry Port, has gotten technical partners, a development, which is expected to fasten the pace of the project.
According to Bello, with this development, Kano dry port project is now on the front banner.
Conversely, Bello said he was not pleased with the pace of work at the Isiala Ngwa, Abia State, dry port project.
Although, he noted that the concessionaire was very hardworking, he expressed concern that somehow so much was yet to be done.
Bello said a lot of options, which he did not disclose, were being looked at.
Worried about the slow pace of work on some of the Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) in the six geo-political zones of the country as a result of paucity of funds, the NSC had last year considered assisting the concessionaires to attract investors and necessary funding.
The NSC, it was gathered, was concerned that apart from the Kaduna IDP, which took off about two years ago, the rest IDP projects were yet to be completed by the concessionaires due to lack of finance.
To ensure that the concessionaires complete their projects as soon as possible, the NSC had approached the Commonwealth Enterprise Investment Council (CWEIC) to be involved in the search for interested investors for the IDP projects.
The NSC, it was gathered, approached the London office of the body which was established in 2014 with mandate from Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote intra-commonwealth trade and investments across the 53 member countries.
CWEIC is responsible for organising the Commonwealth Business Forum alongside the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting on alternative years.
Bello led the management team of the NSC to attend the Advisory Council Meeting of CWEIC held in Lagos last year during which a lot of business opportunities across and beyond Nigeria were laid bare.
Speaking at the meeting, Bello said apart from IDP projects, the NSC is also interested in getting investors for other transport sector infrastructure projects, such as Truck Transit Parks (TTP) and Border Information Centres.
"Both IDP and TTP projects are considered as having multiplier effects on the national economy with thousands of jobs to be created when completed. The Council sees the dry port project as imperative to trade facilitation as it will enable shippers in the hinterland to import and export without having to travel to Lagos seaports or other seaports for the process. For instance, with the Kaduna IDP, importers in any part of the world who wish to use that dry port can do so by indicating it as Port of Destination for their goods instead of using Lagos seaport.
"Similarly, businessmen from that zone who have goods to export can use the dry port without having to go through Lagos seaport. Among the dry ports include the Kaduna IDP, Kano, Jos Plateau State, Isiala Ngwa, Abia State, Borno, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Ibadan and Benin, Edo state," he said.
However, a source disclosed that though the NSC had taken hard position to ensure that the concessionaires complete their projects, it is committed to lending a helping hand in whatever capacity to accelerate investments in the IDPs and TTPS for the concessionaires to succeed.
The source said the ultimate goal of the NSC is to see that the projects come to fruition as soon as possible, considering the benefits to the national economy and states where they are sited.