Economy Maritime

Ibadan is due for $134m Inland Dry Port – Bello tells Ajimobi

COST REDUCTION: Shippers Council threatens action against companies, operators, over arbitrary charges
Written by Maritime First

…As Greek seeks improved trade relations with Nigeria***

The construction of a $134 million new Ibadan Inland Dry Port (IDP) is set to commence soon.

The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello highlighted this on Tuesday, during  a courtesy visit he paid on the Oyo State Governor,  Alhaji Abiola Ajimobi in his office, in Ibadan.

The NSC Boss, Bello who led Mr Dada Ahmed, a representative of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and representatives of CRCC China-Africa Construction Limited on the visit also presented to the governor, an Outline Business Case Compliance Certificate (OBCC) of the project expected to be developed at Olorisa-Oko, the terminal end of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Standard gauge railway line.

Bello said that the construction company had approached the NSC to develop an Inland Dry Port (IDP) at Olorisa-Oko area of Oyo State at the end of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line.

‘‘We are working to ensure that no time is lost. We will ensure that the procurement process run concurrently.

‘‘It is our hope that the turning of sod, signifying the movement of concessionaire to site and commencement of construction work start before the end of the year or early 2019,’’ he said, noting that the new 20,000 tonnes capacity Ibadan IDP would be developed in three phases at a capital cost of $134 million for the project.

He expressed a desire that Oyo State Government and the public would hold equity in the project, adding that appropriate percentage holding of all parties to the project will however be determined, at negotiations.

Hassan Bello posited that the need to develop Inland Dry Port in hinterland parts of the country is even more demanding now than in 2007 when the Federal Executive Council approved the concession of six Inland Container Depots across the country.

‘‘This included the one to be located at Erunmu in Ibadan. The roads round the Logos Logistic Ring (LRR) are littered with trucks and tankers averaging 7,500 daily with about 5,000 of them not having feasible business to transact in the Apapa area.

‘‘President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s policy objectives to diversify the economy is another reason to bring shipping services to the door steps of shippers in the hinterlands,’’ he said.

Bello said that agricultural commodities and other export cargoes generated from the hinterland would be shipped with ease through IDP.

He said that the standard gauge railway line from Lagos to Ibadan was a catalyst for opening Oyo and adjourning states for export.

Bello called on the state government to ensure that the allocated land for the project was free from all encumbrances, while it should ensure basic infrastructure including security and access roads were provided at the site.

In his response, Gov. Ajimobi thanked the team for ensuring that one of the first Inland Dry Ports would be established in the state.

He expressed the hope that it would be the most patronised ever in the country on completion.

The governor said that the state has the potential of becoming the food basket of the nation with its landmass, soil profile, strategic position and concentration of agricultural research institutes.

He pleaded with the construction company to ensure earlier completion and usage of the project.

Meanwhile, the Greek Government on Tuesday expressed its interest in deepening economic and trade relations with Nigerian business community.

Mr Nikos Yiamakis, the Chairman, Greek-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Technology (GNCCT), expressed the interest in Lagos at the Greek-Nigeria Business Forum.

He said that Greece was interested in promoting economic and business interests in areas of construction, manufacturing,  renewable energy resources, communications and information technology.

Other areas of interest are standardisation of production,  health services and shipping.

“For decades, there has been a good relationship between Greece and Nigeria, but the trade relationship can be improved upon to become better.

“Greek companies, wherever they have been active abroad, have proven to be among the top companies in the world in terms of consistency, know-how, quality, competitive pricing and faithful fulfillment of their contractual obligations,” he said.

Yiamakis said that strengthening existing trade relationship would boost production, technology transfer, job creation and export opportunities between both countries.

Ms Yewande Sadiku, Executive Director, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), described Africa as the most attractive investment destination in the world.

She said this had  improved Nigeria’s appeal to investors.

Sadiku said that the Federal Government had evolved several reforms and initiatives to improve the business environment and attract investors to explore Nigeria’s potential.

Mr Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), said that the bank had identified core sectors of growth over the next two to three years.

He said that the sectors which aligned to government’s priority areas were agro and food processing, light manufacturing, gas and petrochemical, creative industry,  solid mineral and engineering and technology.

Amb. Folorunsho Ajadi, Nigerian Ambassador to Greece, said that the forum provided the platform to deepen economic ties, forge new businesses and expand business growth of both countries.

 

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