…As Government set to designate Dry Ports as Ports of Origin, Destination***
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on Tuesday launched an operational manual for inland dry ports in Nigeria, Stressing that Federal Government conceived Inland Dry Port projects in a bid to entrench efficient transportation, and enhance efficiency at ports and boost trade facilitation.
The NSC Executive Secretary, Emmanuel Jime highlighted this in Lagos in a welcome address, noting the strategic importance of producing the operational manual which articulates the step-by-step procedures for receiving, storing, handling, and delivery of cargoes; as sine-qua non, to achieving functional operations, of responsive and responsible agencies and timeliness for discharging such tasks.
Jime recalled that the Federal Executive Council granted approval for the establishment of Inland Dry Ports in March 2006 in six locations across the country, which were to be developed through Public, Private Participation using the Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer Model.
He explained that the operational Manual provides details of processes and procedures for the main activities of the Inland Dry Ports; which are functions and activities of the Dry Ports, specifies layout designs; the activities that are to be performed at the dry port, laying down the sequence of operations.
He further said that the manual addressed dry port operations procedures as it relates to export and import activities; align dry port operations to international best practices; ensures standard quality control in dry port operations; whereby operators and regulators are compelled to abide with operational processes as contained in the manual.
“It may be pertinent that this Manual would be used as a measure of performance by the regulator (in this case, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council) and will be subjected to future review to be in tandem with obtainable best practices, upon agreement of the two parties ( the Operator and the Regulator).
The Minister of Transport, Muazu Sambo, through his representative, the Director, Ewache Victor said that apart from its critical importance in facilitating International trade as well as transit cargo to landlocked countries, the Inland Dry Port projects are intended:
*To bring shipping activities closer to shippers in the hinterland and increase cargo throughput;
*To act as a catalyst for improved trade flows; and
*To boost inland trading, and promote the export of agricultural products, thus, leading to a multi-product-oriented economy.
The Minister urged the participants to take full advantage of the sensitization workshop for full implementation of the Operational Manual as a workable policy document that will drive the operations of the Inland dry ports in Nigeria.
The Deputy Comptroller, Administration, Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Port, DC Ajibola Odusanya in his contributions said “Nigeria Customs Service is happy and delighted to be part of the vision of de-congesting the port.
“We all know that inland dry port was conceived by the Federal Government to ease the pains of Nigerians at everytime at our seaports.
” I want the stakeholders to know that we at Nigeria Customs Service are ready to collaborate and co-operate with all stakeholders.
“Those who are on the ground will know that Nigeria Customs Service just brought in Scanning Machines.
The one at Tin Can Island ports has been installed likewise the one at PTML,” he stated.