…Port will boost Kano IGR – Amaechi
By Dirisu Yakubu, ABUJA
Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje yesterday unveiled the Dala Port Investment Summit logo at a brief ceremony in Abuja, the nation’s capital. This is as the governor declared the state’s readiness for economic transformation with the expected completion of the port in the next couple of weeks.
The governor noted that the ancient city of Kano played a unique role as a commercial hub in pre-colonial Nigeria, stressing that the first aeroplane which flew into Nigeria landed in Kano. According to him, Kano also boasted of first-generation billionaires like Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, who in his words was the richest man in West Africa closely followed by Isyaku Rabiu.
Ganduje further claimed that Kano has always had a very large commercial settlement even more than Lagos, arguing that even when the colonial masters arrived in the country through the sea, they were able to identify the economic potentials of the city which made them build a railway line to the state, unperturbed by the distance.
He said: “The first aeroplane that came to Nigeria, dropped in Kano, the pilot did not identify any settlement in Lagos. There was a large settlement of people already in Kano. The richest man in Africa then, Dantata was from Kano and the second richest, Rabiu was also from Kano. Kano existed before Nigeria was carved out. Kano was able to trade with the world in the pre-colonial era.
“When the colonial masters came in through the sea, they built a railway line from Lagos to Kano because of the degree of commerce already in place. You all can remember the groundnut pyramid.
“When oil was discovered, everything went upside down but the Buhari administration came in and said that it will no longer be business as usual and reconstructed the railway line. Today, Kano is the largest producer of rice in Nigeria and one of the highest processors of rice in West Africa.”
The governor said that with the upcoming Kano Economic and Diaspora investment summit which will take place in May, the port will create an opportunity for the Diaspora community to tap into the rich business potential in the state, promising to provide free land to any member of the Diaspora community willing to invest in the state.
In his keynote address, Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi said the dry port when completed will bring shipping facilities closer to the hinterland.
Represented by Dr Magdalene Ajani, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Amaechi said: “A state with a sizable number of textiles and agro-allied industries, a motor assembly plant, hides and skin industries and several manufacturing plants deserves an inland dry port”.
According to Amaechi, the dry port will among other things, “bring shipping activities closer to shippers in the hinterland and increase cargoes throughput; act as a catalyst for improved trade flows; boost inland trading, revitalize export of agricultural products thus leading to multi-product economy; create employment opportunities that would ultimately stem rural-urban migration and act as a source of Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, to the host state as well as a revenue source to the federal government.”
While assuring the business community and intending investors of the government’s commitment to link all dry ports with rail lines, Amaechi said the Dala port would be linked with the Lagos-Kano standard gauge currently under construction.
In his goodwill message, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Addo-Bayero frowned at the slow speed of the Kaduna-Kano, noting that the emirate has constituted a committee to work with the state government for the completion of the Dala Inland Dry Port.
Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Emmanuel Jime in his remarks said the “Dala Dry port” which is among the six dry port projects being executed by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration “will give Nigeria a competitive edge in the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
He added that the Kano state government has already released the sum of N2.5bn which was utilized in the provision of the access road, electricity, perimeter fencing, provision of water facility, among others at the project site.
The event was attended by Minister of Trade and Investment Adeniyi Adebayo, Chairman Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, Hon. Abike Dabiri; Managing Director, Dala Inland Dry Port, Ahmed Rabiu; Chairman Dangote Group Aliko Dangote represented by President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Engr. Mansur Ahmed; President BUA Group Abdulsamad Rabiu among others.