The promoters of the inland container depot (ICD) in the country have accused the Minister of Transportation, Right Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello of bias and favouritism in the implementation of dry port projects.
The promoters alleged that while Amaechi and Bello are doing everything possible to encourage and support the take-off of the ICD in Kaduna, this has not been the case with other ICDs.
They alleged that it was this favouritism and bias against other ICD that was responsible for the speed in the execution of the Kaduna dry port.
The allegations of bias and favouritism is coming on the heels of the recent working inspection of the Kaduna dry port facility in Kaduna State by Amaechi, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Bello and other top government officials.
Buttressing the allegations of bias and favouritism, the Chairman of Dala Dry Port, Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu said while the Federal Government has refused to grant the status of Port of Origin and Destination to other dry ports, it has speedily given to Kaduna dry port facility.
He alleged that some state governments have continued to use Amaechi and Bello to frustrate the Kano dry port more than two years after President Mohammed Buhariâ€™s government of change took the reins of administrations.
His words: â€œVice President Namadi Sambo secured a declaration for the Kaduna inland port as a Port of Origin and Destination on 15/5/2015, just two weeks before leaving office after losing election even though Kaduna was never part of the six inland dry ports approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) under President Olusegun Obasanjo in the year 2003 for which concession agreements were only signed in the year 2006. Regrettably, the Federal Government refused to declare the rest dry ports, particularly Kano which pioneered the entire movementâ€.
Rabiu in a telephone chat with THISDAY stated that all the promoters are aggrieved by the poor attitude of government officials to the implementation of ICD across the country.
â€œJohn, I must tell you, it is not only Kano ICD that is affected. All the promoters of the dry port projects across the country are all affected. We are all hurt by this lopsided, poor and unnecessary delay in the implementation of the dry port projects.Â The promoters of the ICDs are all hurt by the poor execution of dry port projects over the years. There are rent seekers who are bent on frustrating the dry port projects across the country. These rent seekers are virtually everywhere. They are within and outside corridors of power. Their existence precedes the present administration of President Mohammdu Buhari. Unfortunately, Amaechi and Bello are yielding to themâ€, he said.
In spite of the challenges, he expressed the readiness of Kano dry port to continue with efforts aimed at attaining its set goals and objectives.
THISDAY checks revealed that Amaechi and Belloâ€™s push for the ICD in Kaduna was not unconnected with the failure of other ICD promoters to move at the speed the government expected them.
An impeccable source at Shippers Plaza, the corporate headquarters of NSC, Apapa, Lagos said despite having series of meetings with the ICD promoters, they are yet to carry out tangible milestones in the delivery of the ICDs,
â€œThey are holding onto their project approval for over a decade without site developmentâ€, the source added.