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Leading stakeholders including the regulator, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Nigerian railway Corporation (NRC), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), importers, exporters, Customs and freight operators have expressed their readiness to drive business at the newly commissioned Kaduna Inland Dry Port (KIDP).
Business Hilights recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari personally commissioned the facility in Kaduna recently and charged industry players to deepen activities and create jobs.
In his keynote address in Lagos on Thursday at a breakfast meeting designed to raise awareness on the readiness of the complex for business, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello noted that the Council has provided all needed logistics for seamless business activities at the KIDP and called on port users to make good use of it in growing the economy and creating jobs.
He explained that the core functions of dry port include receipt and dispatch of cargoes; surfing and stripping of containers; Customs clearance; and temporary storage of containers and cargoes.
On the economic benefits, Bello listed facilitating door to door delivery of cargo to and fro importers and exporters.
Others include facilitating transportation development through the hinterlands; improvements of transport infrastructure and decongestion of seaports; and facilitating businesses across landlocked countries of Chad, Niger, Northern Cameroon and even Benin Rep.
In his further submission, NSC boss averred that added to the above advantages, the facility is in line with other intermodal transport networks.
In his remarks, the managing director of NRC, Engineer Fidet Okhiria said the establishment of the Dry Port in Kaduna is the height of efforts of the government to push container delivery seamlessly to importers at the lowest inconveniences.
He said with the functionality of the KIDP, “NRC is stepping up efforts in haulage of containers to the benefit of businesses within the axis and Nigeria in particular”.
“NRC now has all it takes to move any number of containers from the port city of Apapa to Kaduna within six hours and that in itself is a plus to importers who will only come to Kaduna within hours to clear their goods and grow their businesses.
Corroborating Okhiria’s presentation, the chief executive of KIDP, Mr. Tope Borishade said “All logistics are currently on ground for container arrival and clearing businesses at the facility and the company will continue to set standards salutary for business growth.
Earlier in his goodwill message, the chief executive of ICRC, Chief Chidi Izuwah said his agency will continue to lead the way in infrastructure development and effective usage.
According to him, his agency is pleased with the coming on stream of KIDP. He assured that others across the federation will some come on stream to free the Nigerian roads from incessant damages owning to heavy weight caused by cargo transit.
Also speaking, the representative of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Musa Manniru said with the coming on stream of KIDP, the Nigerian Customs will not only grow its revenue drive, but deepen trade facilitation which are core functions of the Service.
Explaining more in his presentation, the NPA managing director, Hadiza Bala Usman, represented by a general manager in the agency, Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu said Inland Dry Port operations and success are driven by the business growth capacity of the geographical coverage area which he said, Kaduna location is very important as several commercial nerves surround the city.
However, he noted that a good Dry Port location must be a transit axis to avoid being subjected to a storage facility.
According to him, Nigeria is a railway country considering the massive land mass of the nation. He said the facility will among other things; deliver the already stressed Nigerian roads from further frustrations as volumes of heavy duty haulages will be taken away by rails direct to the Dry port.
Capt. Ebubeogu made it clear that “Inland Dry Port business is cargo-driven and timeliness plus safety remain the key words in running the facility at all times to grow usage confidence on stakeholders and shippers.
While calling for the inclusion of cargo maintenance facility at all Dry Ports, the NPA official noted that “Intact integrity of cargoes is key”.
In her contribution, the head of Corporate Truckers’ Association (CTA), Ms. Folake George said even as rail is becoming the new trend in cargo haulage, efforts should be made to create rooms for the operation of her members in the growth of the KIDP.
Aside, KIDP, there are other dry ports coming up in other parts of the country.
These include Ntigha, near Aba in Abia State, Erunmu in Oyo State, Zawachiki in Kano for the Kano business community; Heipang in Kaduna State; Funtua in Katsina State; and Jauri in Borno State for the growth of Chat basin business community and beyond.
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