No fewer than five thousand job opportunities have been created by the just commissioned Kaduna Inland Dry Port following its commencement of operations.
It has the capacity to handle 29,000 TEUs of containers yearly at the first phase of operation with the potential to double this volume when completed.
Gazetted by the Federal Government as a Port of Origin and Port of Destination, the Inland Container Depot(ICD) is an intermodal terminal directly connected by road, rail and air to a sea port and operating as a centre trans-shipment of sea cargo to inland destination.
This means that in Kaduna State shippers can use the ICD to bring in their cargo and equally use it to export goods or agricultural produce from Kaduna State to neighbouring states or land locked countries of Chad, Niger, among others.
According to the Chairman of the operating firm, Kaduna Inland Dry Port Limited, Mr. Tope Borishade, there is an understanding with the state government for farmers to form cooperatives and come forward with their farm produce to take advantage of “Our 4,000 square metres capacity warehouse at the port to store and consolidate their goods for export to various countries abroad. This initiative will empower and create multiple employment in the community.”
“It is a well known fact that Kaduna State is the largest producer of ginger in the country, and the new port provides the opportunity for the exportation of processed agricultural produce to other countries of the world from Kaduna Inland Dry Port,” he added.
Kaduna ICD is one the seven ICDs in the country being promoted and facilitated by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council(NSC) with the intention of facilitating trade and reducing the perennial congestion in Lagos Ports, which constitute bottlenecks to trade as cost of doing business hits the roof, a development that makes the Nigeria’s ports very uncompetitive in favour of the neighbouring countries’ ports.
At the Commissioning ceremony that attracted members of nation’s federal cabinet members, state governors, members of the serving and former National Assembly,President Muhammadu Buhari, charged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to make the newly commissioned Kaduna Inland Dry Port work and not to frustrate business, commercial and industrial enterprises at the port.
He noted that the project would enhance economic activities, improve revenue generation and create direct employment in the state.
According to him, “Today is a landmark day for our importers and exporters. The Kaduna Inland Dry Port is the first proper Inland Dry Port to be completed among the seven approved across the country. Six others — in Ibadan, Aba, Kano, Jos, Funtua and Maiduguri — are at various stages of completion.
“Our Customs and ports officials must now make the Kaduna Inland Dry Port work. They must not frustrate business, commercial and industrial enterprises with unnecessary bureaucracy and delays. Our ease of doing business attitude must be visible; we must make this port work,” Buhari said. .
Earlier, Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai, said the state government would provide additional road network to the dry port to ease movement of trucks.
In another development, Buhari said his administration is committed to strengthening the nation’s railway system in order to boost economic activities in the country.
Buhari made the vow while commissioning two locomotives and 10 standard gauge coaches on Thursday in Kaduna.
He said that the procurement of the locomotives and coaches was part of his administration’s resolve to vigorously pursue rail development in the country in line with 25-year national strategic railway master plan.
According to him, “Other supporting projects are the purchase of more locomotives, coaches, wagons, workshops and equipment for new standard rail lines by way of encouraging private sector participation in the railway sector”.
He said that it was on this basis that his administration was focused on creating conducive environment for private sector participation to strengthen commercial activities using railways systems and promote rapid economic activities.
“By improving the lives of the citizenry and promoting National integrity, our resolve is to promote railway systems to high class standard.
“Therefore, I am using this opportunity to appeal for the support of all relevant stakeholders especially the National Assembly and all development partners in realizing this objective.’’
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, noted that the inauguration of the new standard locomotives demonstrated government’s commitments to revitalizing national infrastructure.
“Such commitment is not only key but tangible to all railway projects and its practical outcome is to improve the lives of Nigerians,” Amaechi said.
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