KADUNA (Transport Ministry’ Report) – The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Kaduna Inland Dry Port, the first in the Country when completed will generate jobs for the teaming youths of Kaduna State and other States in the Northern part of the Country.
Amaechi made this disclosure duing the inspection of facilities of the Kaduna Dry Port in Kaduna on Tuesday June 20, 2017.
The Minister stated that he was committed to completing the Kaduna Dry Port on schedule because of the Investment and employment potentials of the Dry Port to the Northern part of the country. “I am committed to this project because it is about jobs and making life easier for businesses that are based in the North and transact same with the rest of the world without having to go to Lagos and suffer the traffic and the inconveniences of Lagos. From here, you can ship your goods to any part of the world and from here also, you can receive your goods from any part of the world. There is nothing that is as convenient as that and if you have this convenience then, it means that your business will boom, you will employ more people and more of our young people in Kaduna State will have jobs” he said.
According to the Minister, he noted that he was satisfied with the level of work at the site stressing that everything is set for the commissioning of the Kaduna Dry Port. “Everything is set for the commissioning because we have the land, warehouse and all but we want to wait for the completion of the roads, wait for more activities in the dry port before we get the President or the Ag. President to commission it” he stated.
Comparing the Kaduna Dry Port with other Dry Ports across the Country, the Minister reiterated that the level of work done in the Kaduna Dry Port is commendable. “I have visited Jos Dry Port and they are doing a good job and they promised to be ready by June and I have visited Kaduna and what I have seen is commendable”.
He commended the contributions of the Kaduna State Government towards infrastructure development of the Dry Port especially in the area of road construction leading to the port.
“What the State Government is doing now is very good, the contribution of the State Government is high, if we ignore the contribution of infrastructure by the State Government and if you don’t have road, how will you transport your goods, we must thank the State Government for the support” he said.
Commenting on the rail sector, Rotimi Amaechi stated that the sector, particularly, the narrow gauge is experiencing little challenges. According to him, the concessionaire initial projections was to deploy 100 Locomotives on the Narrow Gauge but when they made the total assessment of the entire Narrow Gauge in Nigeria they found out that 70 Locomotives will be too much for it.
Explaining further, the Minister said that having put the Concessionaire under pressure they now agreed to deploy 20 Locomotives and 500 wagons and arrangement is in top gear to also include coaches to cater for Nigerians who do business between Lagos and Kano and, Port Harcourt and Maiduguri as soon as the National Assembly give the required approval.
Also, speaking at the event, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai acknowledged the huge investment of the State Government and other investors had made towards the infrastructural development of the Kaduna Inland Dry Port. He said “Investors have spent about a billion naira here and the State Government has spent hundreds of millions and we will spend more to make sure that the dry port has access from at least two directions so that there won’t be traffic hold up here because if this Port works, life will be easier for Northern businesses and we will have jobs in Kaduna”.
The Governor reaffirmed the Kaduna State continued interest to partner with the Federal Government to seeing to the success of Dry Ports in the Country and commended the initiatives of the initiators of the project noting that Kaduna State Government is a critical Stakeholder in the Dry Ports business.
In his contribution, the Executive Secretary of Shippers’ Council, Barr Hassan Bello, commended the efforts of the Kaduna State Governments for partnering with the Federal Government towards actualising the First Dry Port in Nigeria. He said Nigerian Shippers’ Council is presently working with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in the development of Dry Ports in Nigeria. He urged Importers and Exporters of goods to patronise the Kaduna Inland Dry Port as soon as it is commissioned.
In his reaction, the Board Chairman, Inland Container (Nig) Ltd, Temitope Aborishade emphasized the importance of the Kaduna Inland Dry Port to the Northern part of the Country in particular and the whole country in general. In the same vein, he lauded the efforts of the Federal Government and Kaduna State Government for the initiative of the Dry Ports in Nigeria.