Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council have signed an undertaking to establish a dry port and truck transit terminal in Abuja at the cost of $150 million.
This deal was sealed recently in Abuja, between the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello and FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello.
The parties would constitute a joint team to work out the modalities for the implementation of the projects.
The establishment of a dry port and a truck transit terminal would be in response to Abuja’s rising profile as a commercial hub in addition to its primacy as the nation’s capital.
The FCT Minister said a provision in the Abuja Master-Plan catered for both a dry port and truck transit terminals in the Territory, noting that the current growth and development being experienced in the city was indicative that Abuja is ripe for all the necessary complements of a mega city.
The dry port, the Idu Station that ensures connectivity by road, air and rail linking eastern, northern and western lines would translate Abuja into a transportation hub. There is also a spur rail line from Minna, Niger State, to Abuja, envisaged to connect to the Baru Port.
Bello, urged the shippers’ council management to factor these provisions in the project and investment plan.
He stressed that there was already in place a policy governing the operation of articulated vehicles, detailing when and where they can ply.
He disclosed the FCTA was working to strengthen the institutional framework for the enforcement of the regulations. He congratulated the NSC team on the passage of the Bill transforming them into the National Transport Commission and appealed to the Council to act on the illegal reconstruction of truck to carry loads above their required tonnage.
This he noted, had caused much carnage, including severe damages and reduction of the lifespan of the roads.
In his response, Bello, noted that private equity would comprise about 90 per cent of the $150 million investment outlay for the proposed projects.
He said the Nigerian Shippers Council, was established in 1978 as an intervention agency with functions such the development of infrastructure on marine, roads and inland waterways including airports.
He stressed that the Council had secured land for similar developments in Obolo Afor, Enugu State and Lokoja, Kogi State, adding that the Kaduna dry port was already creating value for the state.