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Lack of rail access threatens Kaduna dry port

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The Port General Manager of Kaduna Inland Dry Port (KIDP), Rotimi Raimi-Hassan, has disclosed that rail access to the port, which has stopped working for some time, has increased the cost of doing business in the state.

He said it was not only affecting the dry port, but also a huge cost to importers and exporters as they spent more on cargo haulage.

Raimi-Hassan said the cost of moving cargo from Lagos to Kaduna was about N1 million or more, depending on market demand. He stressed that rail would reduce the cost by half.

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“You can now imagine less than 50 per cent of one million spent, you can see that the remaining 50 per cent is a lot to the importers and also for the end-users, because at the end of the day, particularly the manufacturing company, they don’t joke about the material cost. If this is achieved, it will have a multiplier effect, and it enables all manufacturing companies that have been closed down in Kaduna to spring up again because we are within the industrial area,” he explained.

Raimi-Hassan said the Kaduna inland dry port is located at the centre of the country’s map, having catchments like Abuja, Niger, Katsina and Kano, as well as being very close to the border with the Niger Republic.

He recalled the meeting with Niger Republic shippers about two years ago, in which they disclosed that moving their goods from Ivory Coast or the Benin Republic was expensive, and would prefer their goods passing through Kaduna, which was about three to four hours to the border by road.

He said this would help Nigerian exporters in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), adding: “ It will enhance intra African trade because already KIDP is at the centre, so all the goods going to Niger, Chad, and Mali can be pushed from there. And if they have exports too from there, they can bring it down to Kaduna and from there straight to the seaport by rail. So these are the things that I believe if quickly addressed will enhance the operation of KIDP.”

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