BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos |
Nigeria seaports will regain its lost transit cargoes from Ghana, Benin Republic and Togo seaports after the development of the Dala Inland Dry Port in Kano State, LEADERSHIP has learnt.
Nigeria is losing over N136 billion to neigbouring countries’ ports through diversion of transit cargoes originally meant for Nigerian ports.
The sum is what would have accrued to the economy through import duty, terminal and shipping charges and levies vessels paid to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) but lost due to lack of rail connectivity and poor port access road to Nigerian port.
LEADERSHIP reports that Niger shares about 1,500 kilometres of boundary with Nigeria, and with a coastline of about 800 kilometres, Nigerian ports remain the natural gateway for Niger and Chad’s access to the sea.
Kano dry port, Dala, is also nearer to Jibiya, a border town between both countries, than Togo, Benin Republic and Ghana.
Ghana to Niger is about 3,400 kilometres, Lagos to Jibiya in Niger is just 1,300 kilometres.
However, to boost the construction of the dry port, the Kano State government said it plans to invest N2.3billion for the quick development of the dry port in the state.
Corroborating LEADERSHIP findings during a working visit to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) at the weekend, the governor of Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje stated that the inland dry port will not only serve the Kano people, but it is also serving the northern part of the country, West African countries like the Republic of Niger and the Republic of Chad and the northern part of Cameroon.
Through this, he said import and export are made easy, hence Kano has come of age.
On the fund to invest in the deve lopment of the dryport, Ganduje said the stipulated amount for the port would boost Kano State’s economy and that of Nigeria in general.
He then called on the council to ensure that the inland dry port was linked with the railway network, stressing the need for effective collaboration between shippers and shipping lines.
He said, “The reason why we are here is to create a synergy between the shippers’ council and other stakeholders to ensure that the inland dry port in Kano is actualised. For more than 10 years, this project has been in Kano but there was no enabling environment to make sure it was actualised. With the coming of our administration, we are committed to seeing that the dry inland port is a reality.
“For phase one of it, we have committed N2.3 billion to provide access roads, electricity as well as water to the site. We are ready for the take-off of this very important project. We are here to show the Shippers’ Council that Kano State has come of age as far as the dry port is concerned.”
On his part, the executive secretary of NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, said, with the status of Kano State as a centre of trade and commerce in Nigeria, the port would align with the council’s vision to increase the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), adding that, the state’s economic viability made the Dala Inland dry port very significant.
The federal government had earlier made it known that it would construct more dry ports across the country as part of moves to stimulate trade and economic development.
The government’s commitment to building dry ports is particularly necessary considering that the major seaport facilities have been over-stretched.