Shippers Council, Kano advance on Dala dry port project
A ray of hope has beamed for the multi-billion-naira, Dala Inland Dry Port project, as the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), in collaboration with the Kano State Government, have advanced strategies to actualize the all-important project.
Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, during a visit to the NSC headquarters in Lagos, expressed determination to actualize the project within the shortest possible time.
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello, described Dala Inland Dry Port as one of the tools, which Nigeria could use to harness the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), and should be prepared to receive and utilise it.
Bello applauded the Kano State Government for its unwavering commitment to the project with about N2.4 billion already spent on access roads to the terminal, which is 50 per cent completed, adding that the perimeter fencing was being done, while electricity, water, and many other amenities are provided at the dry port.
Bello said the Dry port will be a transit port that would connect many countries and change the region’s economy while describing it as an industrial base project that will aid industrialisation in the area.
He said: “The Free Trade Agreement is the largest single market accounting for about $4 trillion in spending and investment across 54 countries. It will cover 1.2 billion people in Africa and over $3 billion in gross domestic product.
“By 2050, it will expand the economy of Africa to $29 trillion, and boost Intra African trade, which is currently at 18 per cent to 52 per cent.
“In Europe, the trade amongst themselves is 70 per cent; in North America, it is 49 per cent; while in Asia they have 35 per cent. But in Africa, we have only 18 per cent.
“However with the introduction of the AfCFTA, we will go up to 52 per cent but the benefit will depend on infrastructure. Currently, Africa has a deficit of infrastructure of over $100 billion.”
Bello pointed out that Kano State had started bridging that gap and had an advantage over other states, and hoped that the Ministry of Transportation, through the Federal Executive Council (FEC), would approve the inland port by December, thereby laying the foundation for a significant port in modern Nigeria.
He noted that the Dala Inland Dry Port would operate 24-hours directly under the supervision of the NSC, and would be a port with an electronic gate and multi-modal approach to cargo delivery.
Ganduje assured that the state would exploit all opportunities offered by the facility to boost exports to boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange and further grow Kano’s internally-generated revenue (IGR).
He urged the Shippers’ Council to follow up with the Federal Ministry of Transportation to declare Dala Inland Dry Port as a destination port, to boost the state economy and help facilitate efficient handling of both import and export cargoes.
He urged the Council to consider rail extension into the inland port, and ensure cooperation and collaboration between shipping lines and their agents.
Ganduje also urged NSC to facilitate the actualisation of the inland port as a Transport and Logistics Free Zone, and enable linkages and access to the markets in the Sahel African countries, particularly Chad and Niger republics.
He appreciated the Shippers’ Council for its initiative in promoting the establishment of inland dry ports to make shipping services available to those in the hinterland.
He noted that the state had provided 200 hectares of virgin land free of encumbrances required for the two integrated projects – the Inland Dry Port, and the Special Economic Zone.
He listed the critical infrastructure provided by the state for the actualisation of the project as; construction of standard dual carriage access road to the project site, power, and water, among others.
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