The Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello has said that the Kano Inland Dry Port (IDP) will be a transit port that would connect landlocked countries of Niger Republic, Chad, Northern Cameroon and other Sahel African countries.
He disclosed this in Lagos during a courtesy call on the NSC by the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
Bello, who acknowledged that the Inland Port has enjoyed the support of the Kano state government disclosed that the state recently invested over N2.4 billion in development of infrastructure.
The NSC boss assured that the council was perfecting plans to ensure that the port project gets the Federal Executive Council's (FEC) approval before December this year.
Nigeria, he stated, has to get ready to receive and utilise the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which he stated was expected to expand the size of African economy by $29 trillion in 2050, cover more than 1.2 billion people across 54 countries and generate over $3 billion in GDP.
Stating that it is not population or size that would make Nigeria benefit from ACFTA, Bello said the country could only benefit from opportunities provided by the continental pack based on how far it has gone in building infrastructure and industries at state levels.
He, however, implored the concessionaire on the need to operate a modern dry port with electronic gate, good access roads devoid of gridlock, and short delivery time of cargo, 24-hours port operation and multimodal approach to cargo delivery among others.
Following the importance of Dala Inland Dry Port to Kano's economy and that of its neigbouring states, the state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, called on Federal Ministry of Transport through the Nigerian Shippers Council to facilitate the approval and declaration of the Inland Port as a Port of Origin and Destination.
Ganduje also called on the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to extend its rail line to the dry port in order to facilitate seamless cargo evacuation from the port.
According to the governor, "We also want Shipper's Council to ensure the cooperation and collaboration between the shipping lines and their agents with the Inland Port to allow seamless flow of both import and export cargoes; facilitate the actualisation of the Inland Port to be a transport and logistics Free Zone as well as the linkages and access to the markets in the Sahel African countries particularly Chad and Niger Republics."
Furthermore, the Kano State governor assured that the state would exploit all the opportunities offered by the Port to aggressively grow exports in order to boost Nigeria's foreign exchange in addition to growing Kano States internally generated revenue.
While appreciating the effort of the Nigerian Shippers' Council in actualisation of the project, governor Ganduje said the Kano State Government is fully committed to supporting the realisation of the Port, which he stressed, will facilitate efficient handling of both import and export cargoes from the state.
"The Kano State Government under my watch had provided the 200 hectares of virgin land free of encumbrances required for the two integrated projects, the Inland Dry Port and Special Economic Zone; critical infrastructure required for the project including construction of standard dual carriage access road, provision of power and water to the project site among others, "Ganduje stated.
Earlier in his speech, the Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Chidi Izuwah, said the commission was willing to assist the Kano state government bring the project to fruition.
Represented by Director, Transportation Infrastructure Plus Department at the commission, Emmanuel Onwodi, he assured the state government that the commission would work with the Nigerian Shippers Council to get FEC approval for the Inland Port.