President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday commission the Kaduna Inland Dry Port in Kakuri, Kaduna.
A Dry Port is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road, rail and air to a sea port and operating as a centre for trans-shipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.
A statement signed by the Director, Special Duties of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Ignatius Nweke, said the port which is among the seven dry ports being promoted by the Council was built by Kaduna Inland Dry Port Limited and has the capacity to handle 29,000 tonnes of cargoes yearly at the first phase of operation and likely to double when fully completed. It is also estimated to generate no fewer than 5000 direct employment at the commencement of operations.
“The Kaduna Dry Port which is the first of its kind in Nigeria would receive cargo from Apapa Port in Lagos, through the railway or by road and also export goods through the same channel,” Nweke said.
According to him, the idea to establish Inland Container Depots in the hinterland was informed by the need to reduce the congestion in Lagos ports and provide relief for the busy Apapa road.
He said the port, when commissioned will provide an easy process for the exportation of farm produce from the Kaduna and neighbouring states as well as landlocked countries.
Nweke noted that Kaduna State was the largest producer of ginger in the country, stressing that the new port provides the opportunity for the exportation of processed agricultural produce to other countries of the world.
“The market for Kaduna ginger will improve tremendously once the dry port commences full operations on Thursday, with exportation of the produce and others such as hibiscus, sesame seed, Shea Butter etc to China, Singapore, America, UK and other countries of the world where agricultural products are in high demand,” the statement said.
The statement said the Nigerian Shippers’ Council will fully support the Kaduna Inland Dry Port to achieve its employment creation and revenue generation initiatives.
Other approved locations of Inland Dry Ports already concessioned to private sector operators by the ICDs Implementation Committee of the Federal Ministry of Transportation are Isiala Ngwa (Abia State), Erunmu, Ibadan (Oyo State), Heipang (Plateau State), Zawachiki (Kano State), Zamfarawa, Funtua (Katsina State) and Maiduguri (Borno State).