Nigeria mulls construction of more dry ports

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-02 19:56:52|Editor: Wu Qin
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ABUJA, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government is considering the construction of more dry ports across the country, a move which is seen as a catalyst for trade stimulation and economic development, an official said on Friday.

The government is committed to this, particularly as the Nigerian seaport facilities seem to have been over-stretched, Chidi Izuwah, head of the country's Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission, told reporters in the northwestern state of Kano.

The dry ports serve as rallying points for exporters, where their consignments for export would be moved by using multiple modes of transportation, by rail or road, to the conventional seaports.

Nigeria's pioneer dry port was inaugurated on January 4, 2018.

Among the dry ports which are expected to be fully constructed soon is the Dala Inland Dry Port in Kano, which, according to Izuwah, is "quite important for the country's economy, being the commercial city in the north."

"It will receive containers by rail or road from the seaport for inspection and clearance by Customs as well as other relevant authorities," the official said. "It has all the loading and off-loading equipment needed to handle containers."

The inland container depots, also known as dry ports, are expected to bring shipping services to the doorstep of shippers across the country, he said. This will assist in decongesting the seaports and make them more user-friendly.

Other benefits include providing the impetus to revive and modernize the Nigerian railway network as a primary mode for long-distance haulage, as well as to assist in the overall costs of cargo to hinterland locations and transit cargoes to landlocked countries, he said.

He noted that with the initiative, imported goods meant for certain hinterland would be transferred by rail or road to the facility where importers in the areas could access their consignments at cheap rates and closer to their warehouses and markets.

Izuwah confirmed that there have been proposals from the private sector to establish ports in some northern and southern states in the country.

Already, the Nigerian government has approved seven locations for the dry ports, which are under concession with private sector operators, for effective coverage of the hinterlands across the West Africa country.