The minister of transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has called on the stakeholders and shippers, especially those doing business in the northern part of the country, to make use of the newly inaugurated Kaduna Inland Container Terminal.
The minister who attended the seminar on the sensitisation of stakeholders on the importance and huge cost rebate, convenience and timeliness that would be enjoyed by shippers who choose to use the terminal for their imports and exports urged the stakeholders to collaborate with the managers of the dry port for the project to succeed.
Like a seaport, the Kaduna dry port is both a port of origin (for export) and a port of destination (for imports), and an advanced facility being originally one of Inland Container Depots (ICDs) planned by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in collaboration with the private sector.
The Inland Containers Nigeria Limited (ICNL) is the owner and operator of the Kaduna dry port. Importers who destinate their goods to the Kaduna dry port will have their consignments processed by all the agencies involved and cleared by the customs who are also present at the port. They will not have to come to Lagos to clear their goods as the goods would be moved by rail to the Kaduna dry port.
Amaechi who said that the dry ports and the planned Truck Transit Parks (TTP) in the area will equally generate a lot of employment for many Nigerians, said that dry ports were conceived as part of the solution to the problem of hinterland shippers’ inadequate access to the seaports and frequent congestion.
“The Kaduna dry port has the potential benefit of not only reducing transport cost and bringing shipping to the door steps of the shipper, but will also generate employment opportunities to the teeming people of Kaduna and boost the local and national economy. I am happy to observe that the NSC is already collaborating with the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Nigerian Ports Authority, and the Nigerian Customs Service to ensure that this project succeeds,” the minister said.
Also speaking, the executive secretary of NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, described the emergence of dry ports and truck transit parks as part of the port reform programme introduced in the country some years back. He said that the ICDs have a lot of benefits and would be fundamental in boosting export and import businesses in the country, noting that the project would in a very short while replicate a port economy in Kaduna and other cities where they are established.
Bello promised that his council would work hard to see to the success of the Kaduna ICD, truck transit park, and others yet to take-off. He commended the ICNL for the upgrade of its terminal that led to its recognition. He also commended the Kaduna State Government for the provision of the infrastructure that will make the project succeed.