By Samson Echenim
THE Federal Government has begun implementation of deliberate plans and policies targeted at making the country’s transport and shipping businesses become leading employers of labour and major contributors to the national Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, Mr Hassan Bello told Vanguard in an exclusive interview in his office in Lagos that the Council is currently coordinating execution of myriads of transport infrastructure projects across the country, through Public, Private Partnership, PPP, which are targeted at not only development of the country’s abysmal transport and shipping operations, but also creation of millions of jobs directly and indirectly and making the industries major contributors to the national GDP.
Bello said the Kaduna Inland Port, which was unveiled for business by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 4, 2018, was one of the landmark Inland Container Depots, ICDs, or dry ports, driven by PPP, which are planned to become catalysts for economic development at a massive level in the various places where they are located.
The NSC CEO further disclosed that the Council is driving construction of Truck Transit Parks, TTPs, also through PPP, in which transaction advisers had already been appointed and the Council now in the processes of procurement. He hinted that the Shippers’ Council, alongside the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Council, ICRC, is currently supervising and helping to establish ICDs in five other locations, as well as the Truck Transit Parks across the country.
According to the NSC boss, other approved locations of Inland Dry Port already concessioned to private sector operators by the Federal Ministry of Transportation’s Inland Container Depots, ICDs Implementation Committee are Isiala Ngwa in Abia State, Erunmu, Ibadan in Oyo State, Heipang in Plateau State, Zawachiki in Kano State, Zamfarawa, Funtua in Katsina State and Maiduguri in Borno State. An ICD, or dry port is an inland inter-modal terminal directly connected by road, rail or air to a seaport, operating as a center for transshipment of sea cargo to and from inland destinations.
The newly-commissioned Kaduna dry port at full utilisation, has a capacity of handling about 30 million metric tons of cargo per annum.