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Inland Dry Ports: Lack of funds, land, affecting take off- NSC

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has listed lack of funds and  availability of  land  as factors affecting  the commencement  of Inland Dry Ports in the country.

Malam Mustapha Zubairu, Deputy Director, Public Private Partnership, NSC, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.

He, however, said there were renewed interests and vigour by the present administration to ensure that all concession projects were implemented and  ready to operate in the country.

He added that because of the renewed interest, some of the concessionaires had got finances and divested interest  for the  projects  to be operational.

NAN reports that the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) agreement was signed on May 16, 2006 with concessionaires to establish  Inland dry ports, otherwise known as Inland Container Deports (ICD’s) or Containers Freight Stations (CFs).

The locations for the Inland Container Depot

Include Isiala Ngwa in Aba; Erunmu in Ibadan; Heipang in Jos; Zawachiki in Kano; Zamfarawa in Funtua; Jauri in Maiduguri and ICNL in Kaduna.

The port was meant to bring services to the  door steps of shippers across the nation, assist in decongesting the seaports as well as  assist in overall costs of cargo to hinterland and locations and others.

“There are a lot of factors that have affected the early commencement of the project and basically it has to do with funding.

“Funding was a bit challenging for the concessionaires and this is because the project is capital intensive and not something that can easily be done by an individual.

“Another challenge has to do with land. Some state governments have failed to perform their own commitment based on implementation strategy.

“They are supposed to play key roles toward the provision of basic amenities like access road to the site, perimeter fencing, security, water and others.

“Most state governments failed to discharge some of these responsibilities and the most critical of them all is the land to be delivered free from all encumbrances and this was relatively challenging for some state governments,” he said.

Zubairu noted that the Kaduna dry port was functional but for Ibadan project, he pointed out that it was still under procurement, yet to be fully concessioner as what obtained at the moment was the preferred bidders.

“Also, the procurement process is very wrong and protracted.

“It is an unsolicited proposal that needs to be matched with other interested parties and so presently,  still stands  as preferred bidders.”

The deputy director said that the Ibadan project was under negotiation and very soon, someone would emerge as the concessionaire, with approval for operation to commended.

For Funtua, he said: “The project has gone far.

“An appreciable level of deployment has been attained particularly on infrastructure; various aspects of the project, parameter fencing and gate have attained different levels of completion”.

Zubairu said that for Maiduguri area, the insurgency in that part of the country had affected the takeoff of the project.

For Abia , he said  the land issue had remained the most critical aspect  affecting the  project.

According to him, the  state government is also not forth coming but presently, the issue is being resolved.

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