By Godfrey Bivbere & Mercy Opara
Minister of Transportation, Mauzu Sambo, has launched the Operational Manual for Inland Dry Ports in Nigeria to help shippers process their import/export shipment faster.
Speaking at the sensitisation/launching workshop in Lagos, the minister said that the manual spelt out the procedures, processes and requirements for movement of cargo the ports to the Inland Dry Ports, IDPs and from the IDPs to the ports.
The minister who was represented by the Director of Inland Container Depots, Ministry of Transportation, Victor Ewachi, said that the smooth operation of the IDPs will help decongestion the ports as well as bring ports operations closer to shippers in the hinterland.
According to the minister, “The Inland Dry Port Projects was conceived as part of Federal Government’s Ports reform programme designed among others to decongest the seaports, while also taking shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters in the hinterland.
“Subsequently, in March, 2006 the Federal Executive Council granted approval for the establishment of this critical transport infrastructure at chosen locations across the country and concessioned to private sector operators on Public Private Partnership (PPP) strategic framework to Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model.
“The following six locations were identified as viable for siting of the Inland Dry Ports in Nigeria.”
He noted “in addition to six gazetted Inland Dry Ports, approval was also granted for the upgrade of Kaduna ICNL
“Bonded Terminal to a full-fledged Dry Port. This was on the request of Kaduna State Government in 2008 resulting in approval by the Federal Executive Council. In April, 2018, the Kaduna Inland Dry Port was officially gazetted as a port of Origin and Final Destination, considering the level of development and the commitment of the Concessionaire to the project.”
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Emmanuel Jime, said the IDPs are conceived to operate in the same way as the Sea port, the only difference is that there is no sea.
“Federal Ministry of Transportation is in the process of designating all the dry ports to be port of origin and port of destination. So that clearly also indicates that the ports are made effectively to function in the same way as a sea port are functioning,” he noted.