President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday 4th of January 2017, inaugurate Nigeria’s first Inland Dry Port in Kakuri, Kaduna State.
According to the Director, Special Duties, Nigerian Shippers Council, Ignatius Nweke, the idea of establishing inland container depots in the hinterland was informed by the need to reduce the congestion in Lagos ports and provide relief for the busy Apapa road.
What we know about Nigeria’s first Inland dry port
- A dry port is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road, rail and air to a seaport and operates as a centre for trans-shipment of sea cargoes to inland destinations.
- Apart from the Kaduna Inland Dry Port there are about seven other approved locations of inland Dry Ports around the country that already concessioned to private sector operators by the ICDs Implementation Committee of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
- The ports are located in 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.
- The constructions of the Inland Dry Ports are all Public-Private Partnerships
- In the first phase of operation, the Kaduna Inland Dry Port has the capacity to handle about 29,000 tonnes of cargo yearly. This figure might double upon the completion of the port.
- It is also estimated to that at least 5,000 direct jobs will be generated at the commencement of operations.
- Cargoes from the Apapa Port in Lagos will be received at the Kaduna Dry Port through the railway or by road. Goods will also be exported through the same channel.
- There is a maintenance agreement with the contractors who are working at the port in order to ensure good maintenance culture.
Concerns about the Dry Port
The Chairman, International Freight Forwarders Association, Sunny Nnebe, told Punch News that unless the depots were linked to the rail system, they would not serve the purpose for which they were established.
In the same vein, the Coordinator of Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Dr. Osita Chukwu, observed that of all the seaports in Nigeria, only Apapa had been linked to the rail line, noting that unless the situation improved, the government was just wasting money on the dry ports.
Let’s be optimistic and see how far this will go.