Eight dry ports with a combined capacity of 179,000 Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUS) approved by the Federal Government will soon be completed and put to use as government intensifies to diversify Nigeria’s economy.
The approved dry ports are located at Ibadan in Oyo State; Isiala Ngwa in Abia State; Jos Heipang, Plateau State; Bichi Village,Bauchi State; Gombe,Gombe State; Bulunkutu, Borno State; Zawachiki, Kano State and Zanfarawa-Funtua, Katsina State. It was revealed that the inland port at Ibadan would have a capacity of 50,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs), Isiala Ngwa, 50,000 TEUs; Jos, 20,000 TEUs and Dala in Kano with 20,000 TEUs.
Others are Funtua with 10,000 TEUs, and Maiduguri with 10,000 TEUs. According to the Executive Secretary, Nigerian’ Shippers’ Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, operations have begun in Kaduna dry port, while others have attained more than 80 per cent completion.
Also, the executive secretary said that issues around the contract agreements, especially the payment of compensation, were being resolved to make way for its speedy completion.
He explained that the dry ports were expected to serve as a catalyst for trade stimulation and economic development by bringing shipping services to the doorstep of shippers across the nation. Also, he said that the dry port would assist in decongesting the seaports and make them more userfriendly. Jime referred to the dry ports as very crucial to Nigeria’s economic success.
He expressed satisfaction with the public-private-partnership arrangements towards their completion and effective take-off. He commended the efforts of the host state governments and concessionaires towards the speedy completion of the projects, urging all stakeholders to sustain the tempo. Jime praised the Plateau Government for injecting funds into the Heipang dry port and expressed confidence that it would soon come to life.