By Richards Adeniyi
Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi recently said that the dry ports projects were designed to stimulate economic growth and prosperity.
Amaechi who spoke on the occasion of the official ceremony for the beginning of delivery of cargo by rail to Kaduna said dry ports will bring economic boom to states where they are located.
The Minister who was represented on the occasion by the Director, Maritime Service, Mr.Sani Galadanci, said the federal government has always made efforts to rehabilitate the rails to ensure intermodal transport connectivity throughout the country.
Amaechi descried the dry ports as transport infrastructure projects being promoted by the Ministry and the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC).
According to him, it was mainly to address the inadequate access to the seaports, congestion, carnage on the roads and loss of cargo on transit.
Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello who spoke on the occasion said the Kaduna dry port was granted approval as far back as January 2015 and inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari January last year.
Bello said the movement of cargo by rail to the dry port will address the issues suffered by importers and exporters.
He said, “It is hoped that with this flag off, the hinterland and land locked countries boardering Nigerian shippers will take advantage of the dry port for increased and sustained shipping activities”.
He commended the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) for their support.
According to him, two trains will be moving to Kaduna each week.
Bello said, “Most importantly also, taking out export because that is very important, all containers that come will not leave empty.
“We intend to make this place a centre for export. we are in talk with so many investment agencies, the latest is the Commonwealth Council for Enterprise and Investment who are coming to look at the facilities here”.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai said with the dry port, importers can now ship their goods from any part of the world to the dry port.
He said, “Today’s event has opened a new vista of commercial opportunities not only for Northern businessmen, but also neighbouring countries.
”I am very happy about this because, this day means the end of our comparative disadvantage as a land locked state as this shipment clearly shows that the Kaduna dry port has been recognised as port of destination as well as port of reception of all imports and exports throughout the world.