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Tinubu assures ease with new inland dry port

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By Usman Oladimeji

Incumbent administration is dedicated to finishing more dry port projects.

Speaking during the unveiling of the Funtua inland Dry port in Katsina state, President Bola Tinubu stated that the current economic challenges facing Nigeria will soon be resolved as more inland Dry Ports are set up and put into operation nationwide. The President, who was represented by Senator George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, emphasized the importance of Inland Dry Ports in the global trade industry. He said the concept has gained recognition worldwide, especially with the rise of container shipping and the need for exporters in inland cities and neighboring countries like Niger, Chad, Northern Cameroon, and Central Africa.

The president emphasized his administration’s dedication to focusing on finishing and using more dry port projects in the nation, describing them as essential infrastructure for smooth operations. He highlighted that the Funtua Inland Dry Port is the third to be finished out of the six legacy Inland Dry Port projects located in the country’s six Geo-political Zones. He said the infrastructure is essential in furthering the administration’s goal of boosting export activities in Nigeria, which would lead to a more balanced trade, lower expenses, and improved business environment.

Inland Dry Ports project is part of FG efforts to reform ports.

National and international maritime professionals, as well as shippers and shipping companies in landlocked nations, were urged to utilize Inland Dry Ports for their import and export operations. The public, local communities, and the government were encouraged to view the Funtua Inland Dry Port as a valuable national resources and to safeguard its existence. The president urged the Nigerian Customs Service and other port users to work diligently to ensure smooth operations at the facilities. He emphasized the importance of efficiency, requesting that all unnecessary bureaucracy and delays be eliminated while still prioritizing national interest and security.

During his speech, the Hon Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, HE, Oyetola Adegboyega, emphasized that the Inland Dry Port project is a key component of the Federal Government’s efforts to reform the country’s ports. The project will be strategically located in various regions nationwide. He further mentioned that six Inland Dry Ports were given the green light by the Federal Executive Council in March 2006. These ports were set to be handed over to private sector companies through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). The plan involved the companies constructing, owning, operating, and eventually transferring the projects back to the government.

Funtua port is poised to enhance economic prospects.

Katsina State’s Funtua Inland Dry Port project was one of six approved by the government and entrusted to Equatorial Marine Oil and Gas Limited with the project already 80 percent complete upon inheriting it. The government is initiating a program to revamp and modernize the ports across the country in order to reduce congestion and improve their overall efficiency and performance. Oyetola detailed that the Funtua Inland Dry Port was established in the State due to its prominent role in the agricultural and commercial sectors of the country.

With distinctions like being the top cotton producer, second highest sorghum producer, and contributing 13% of Nigeria’s sugarcane production, along with a variety of cereals, legumes, and manufacturing industries, the State was deemed not only suitable but the most deserving location for an Inland Dry Port. The Funtua Inland Dry Port, as stated by the minister, is poised to enhance Nigeria’s economic prospects and streamline trade with neighboring land-locked nations such as Niger and Chad Republic.

Related Article: $600M investment to enhance Nigerian Ports

Traders in the inland areas will have the opportunity to utilize shipping and port services without needing to be present at the coastal ports. This development will boost the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), facilitate economic integration, and contribute to the goals of the Presidential Business Enabling Environment Council (PEBEC), according to the minister. In addition, Oyetola stated that the Funtua Inland Dry Port will operate as a designated Customs port according to the regulations outlined in the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap. C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. It will also meet all the necessary requirements to be classified as an international Port.

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