Determined to see the Edo Inland Dry Port(IDP) take off soon and contribute its quota to national development, the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has directed that the project be incorporated into the existing national IDP project steering committee in the Ministry.
The Minister took this decision recently after an impressive briefing by ministry officials on the project potentials and benefits to the economy on completion, MMS Plus gathered.
The Committee is headed by the Permanent Secretary with the alternate chairman as the Director of Maritime Services in the Ministry. The Committee oversees all the dry port projects in the country with the facilitation agency as the Nigerian Shippers’ Council(NSC).
Amaechi is said to be excited about how strategic the project is to the ongoing south- south to south- west rail corridor development and its special place in helping to decongest the Lagos ports.
Recall that the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mrs. Magdalene Ajani had led a team of officials to the site on a working visit on the directive of the Minister following which they directed the Edo State government to provide power, access roads and water at the site as a strategic partner in the project.
Consequently, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has inspected the Edo Inland Dry Port in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state, to assess the level of progress with the port designed to accelerate socio-economic transformation of the state.
He said his administration would create the enabling environment for the port to operate and thrive, adding, “this is a viable and landmark project that needs patience, determination and a lot of conviction in achieving the set goals. I congratulate you on the job done so far in achieving the dream of Inland Dry Port in Edo State.”
He noted that the state government would leverage the agricultural benefits of the project, noting, “We have a database of farmers in the state. We will encourage them to produce more since they will benefit from the dry port project.
“I am here to see for myself and have a mental picture of what we are trying to achieve. The role of government is to create a peaceful atmosphere and enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state.”
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Atlantique Marine and Engineering Services Ltd (AMES), Engr. Charles Akhigbe, said when completed, the port would take 20,000 containers at any time.
“Edo State can export 56 million kg of agricultural products monthly and the state will make N70 million monthly from the operations at the port,” he said.
According to him, the Inland Dry Port is focused on job creation, noting “the feasibility and viability study on the project is optimistic. It will create 30,000 jobs in the next three years.”
Akhigbe said the project would drive agricultural development, noting, “We would be an aggregation point as an agrarian state. This project will encourage agriculture, especially when we start exporting. Arrangement has been made for a 40-tonne cargo plane to land at the Benin Airport to off-take agricultural products. We would be packaging products to meet international standards.”