President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said Development of Inland Dry Ports is an important factor in economic development in the country.
According to him, the Inland Dry Ports will accelerate the implementation of Nigeria’s economic diversification policy.
The president disclosed this while commissioning the Kaduna Dry Inland Port at Kakuri Area of the state.
It was gathered that part from Kaduna Inland Dry Port, six other Inland Dry Ports in Ibadan, Aba, Kano, Jos, Funtua and Maiduguri, have also been gazetted, and they are at various stages of completion.
President Buhari further caution Customs and Port officials from frustrating business activities at Inland dry ports in major parts of the country.
He stressed that the Customs and Ports officials need to make the 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.I n 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.
“I urge all relevant stakeholders, across the public and private sectors, particularly Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Shipping Companies and Agencies, Seaport Terminal Operators, Clearing and Forwarding Agents, Road Haulers and importers and exporters to utilize this facility optimally.
“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.
“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.
“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,” he said.
The President also commended Government of Kaduna State for facilitating the establishment of Kaduna Inland Dry Port in the state.
He pointed out that 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.
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