President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday dropped a strong warning to Nigerian Customs and Port officials, saying they must make dry inland ports across the country to work and not to frustrate business, commercial and industrial enterprises with unnecessary bureaucracy.
Buhari, who gave the warning shortly before commissioning Kaduna Inland Dry Port in Kakuri, area of Kaduna city, noted that apart from Kaduna Inland Dry Port, six other Inland Dry Ports located in Aba, Ibadan, Kano, Jos, Funtua and Maiduguri, have also been gazetted, and they are at various stages of completion.
The President urged stakeholders in the sector to utilize Kaduna facility optimally, stressing that the inland dry ports will accelerate the implementation of the present administration’s economic diversification policy.
Buhari added that, the hinterland business community has waited for too long for such facility that has tremendous potentials to ease the way of doing international business for the interior based importers and exporters.
He commended the Government of Kaduna State for facilitating the establishment of Kaduna Inland Dry Port and the provision of access roads.
Buhari, further said the provision of other utilities to the dry port by the Kaduna State Government is worthy of emulation by the other dry ports host State Governments.
According to the President: “It remains for Customs and Ports officials to make these facilities work and not to frustrate business, commercial and industrial enterprises with unnecessary bureaucracy and inflicting on them delays and hardships, thereby defeating the object of the whole exercise as has happened in the past. Make these facilities work this time.
“In addition to the Kaduna Inland Dry Port, six other Inland Dry Ports in Ibadan, Aba, Kano, Jos, Funtua and Maiduguri, which have also been gazetted, are at various stages of completion.
The President further said: “The Development of Inland Dry Ports is an important factor in our economic development efforts. As Ports of origin for exports and ports of destination for imports, the Inland Dry Ports will accelerate the implementation of our economic diversification policy.
“The concept of Inland Dry Port has gained widespread importance with the tremendous changes in international transportation as a result of the container revolution and the introduction of door-to-door delivery of cargo. It provides importers and exporters located within the nation’s hinterland, especially industrial and commercial outfits, access to shipping and port services without necessarily visiting the seaports.
“It also enables them to process clearance of their import cargo and take delivery of their raw materials and machinery close to their places of business. Furthermore, the Inland Dry Ports will also provide our exporters the much needed facilities to process, package, consolidate and forward their exports to their customers all over the world without having to physically be at the seaports.
“This replicates the port economy in the various centres where the Dry Ports are located inland thereby generating employment and contributing to the ease of doing business.
Buhari added: “I congratulate the Kaduna State Government, the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and indeed the hinterland importers and exporters on this epoch making occasion.
“I commend the initiative of Nigerian Shippers’ Council towards promoting the provision of these modern transport infrastructural facilities and urge the Concessionaires of the other six Dry Ports to emulate the Concessionaires of the Kaduna Dry Port by accelerating work on theirs so that, in the next few months, they too can be commissioned.
“With the full complement of the seven Dry Ports, congestion at the seaport and traffic gridlock in the port complex will be eliminated. Consequently, the cost of transportation and therefore cost of doing business will be reduced.
“I also want to commend the Government of Kaduna State for facilitating the establishment of Kaduna Inland Dry Port. The provision of access roads and other utilities to the Dry Port by the Kaduna State Government is worthy of emulation by the other Dry Ports host State Governments” Buhari said.
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