Dry Ports: Shippers’ Council Moves to Attract Investors

Hassan Bello
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello

Eromosele Abiodun 

Worried about the slow pace of work at most of the Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) in the six geo-political zones of the country, as a result of paucity of funds, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) is currently working on assisting  the concessionaires to attract  investors and necessary funding.

The IDPs are also known as Inland Container Depots (ICDs),  

The Council, it was gathered, is concerned that apart from the Kaduna IDP which has taken off since January last year, the rest are  yet to be completed due to lack of funds.

To ensure that the concessionaires complete their projects as soon as possible, the Council has approached the Commonwealth Enterprise Investment Council (CWEIC) to be involved in the search for interested investors for the IDP projects.

It was gathered that the Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, recently visited the London office of the body which was established in 2014, to promote intra-commonwealth trade and investments across the 53 member countries.

CWEIC is responsible for organising the Commonwealth Business Forum alongside the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting on alternative years.

Also recently, Bello led the management team of the Council to attend the    Advisory Council Meeting of CWEIC held recently in Lagos, during which a lot of business opportunities across and beyond Nigerian were laid bare.

Specifically, the Council wants to attract investors from Commonwealth countries so that the remaining projects being handled by concessionaires can be completed as soon as possible.

Apart from IDP projects, the Council is also interested in getting investors for other transport sector infrastructure projects, such as Truck Transit Parks (TTP) and Border Information Centres.

Both the IDP and TTP projects are expected to have multiplier effects on the national economy, with thousands of jobs to be created when completed. The Council sees the dry port project as imperative to trade facilitation as it will enable shippers in the hinterland import and export without having to travel to Lagos seaports or other seaports   for the process.

For instance, with the Kaduna IDP, importers in any part of the world who wish to use that dry  port can do so  by indicating it as Port of Destination for  their goods instead of using  Lagos seaport.

Similarly, businessmen   from that zone who have goods to  export   can use the dry port without having to  go through Lagos seaport.

The current scenario is that apart from the Kaduna IDP, other    dry ports projects   located in Kano, Jos Plateau State, Isiala Ngwa, Abia State, Borno, Maiduguri, Kaduna and  Ibadan have been delayed due to funding issues.

The concessionaires include Duncan Maritime  Ltd – Jos;  Eastgate Inland Container Terminal Ltd – Isiala Ngwa – Abia;  Dala Inland Dry Port – Kano; Migfor Nigeria Ltd – Maiduguri;  CatamaranLogistics Ltd – Ibadan;  Equitorial Marine Ltd –  Funtua.  There  are  also another IDPs  at Olorisa Oko, Ibadan and Benin, Edo state.