By YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
As the federal government intensifies efforts towards making dry ports in the hinterland viable, shippers operating in the Northern part of the country have said they will save a whopping N100 billion yeaLEADERSHIP learnt from the shippers that what they spend annually on logistics and freight costs, including cost of individual transportation for coming to ports in Lagos to clear the goods and eventually move them from the port to the Northern part of the country could be reduced by at least N100 billion.
A dry port is an inland inter-modal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transshipment of sea cargoes to inland destinations.
The dry port will be designated as port of origin and destination for importation and exportation of goods in and out of the country.
The executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Barr. Hassan Bello, said when the dry port begins operation in less than three months, it will reduce the cost of importation and exportation in the Northern part of the country.
He said the port will be designated port of destination and origin because the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) is aware of its existence.
“FIATA is aware of the existence of this port and we are designing appropriate transport instrument through bill of laden to make it port of destination and origin”, Bello said.
According to LEADERSHIP findings, businessmen who had always trucked their consignments from Lagos port – Apapa and Tin-Can – will have their consignments dropped at their door steps.
Also, the facility will provide easy process for the Kaduna government to export beans worth about $50 billion from the dry port annually.
Aside the huge sum of money that would be saved, the dry port project is expected to generate about 300,000 direct and indirect jobs to youths in and around the state.
Investigation by our correspondent had shown that before now, shippers, importers and exporters had always trucked their cargoes from Lagos ports to the Northern part of the country, thereby increasing cost of doing business.
For instance, a 40ft container from Lagos ports to the Northeastern part of the country costs between N500,000 to N600,000, while to the Northwest it costs between N200,000 to N300,000 respectively.
According to the Lagos State vice chairman, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) Dry cargo, Abdulahi Muhammed Inuwa, 200 container-laden trucks leave the Lagos ports daily for the South East -Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia and Imo- for delivery of cargoes.
He said the average charge by truck owners to move a cargo-laden container from Lagos to Aba or Onitsha ranges from N200,000 to N250,000 per trip.
The renowned truck owner, however, stated that over 400 container-laden trucks leave Western ports for Northeastern states of Bauchi, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Yobe and Borno.
He also disclosed that truck owners charge between N450,000 to N600,000.
Corroborating the NARTO executive member, the president, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi said the weight and types of cargo determine the amount charged for movement of cargoes to the Eastern part of the country.
He, however, stated that moving cargoes ranges from N230,000 to N260,000.
Speaking on the dry port in an exclusive chat with LEADERSHIP, Bello said the it is a panacea to congestion in Lagos Ports – Apapa and Tin-Can.
“It is obvious the dry port will benefit the economy of the country because wherever we have a port whether dryly when the Kaduna inland dry port becomes fully operational.or seaport, it affects naturally the economic activities of the place. Just like in Lagos where we have a seaport, it affects the economic activities of the state, even in Port Harcourt and Calabar”, he noted.
He also stated that the Kaduna dry port will have impact on the local economy in the state. “It will have impact on the local economy because here, we are thinking about import and export and Kaduna is huge agriculture location. There is huge deposit of agriculture. We are expecting clusters of industries to process agricultural goods and export them through this dry port.
“It is better for port of Lagos because seaports are not a storage point but a transient point where when goods arrive, they are cleared waiting for others to come. The dry port is a panacea for congestion. The dry port will benefit Nigeria’s economy because wherever we have a port, whether dry or seaport, it naturally affects the economic activities of the place, Bello said.