Funtua Dry Port’ll Bring Shipping Closer To Hinterlands- FG


By Stella Enenche, Abuja

The Federal Government has commissioned the Funtua Inland Dry Port in Katsina State, saying it would
bring shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters in the hinterlands.

President Bola Tinubu while commissioning the project on Thursday added that the port will not only create jobs for the youths, but will decongest the seaports and generate huge revenue to the Federal government.

Tinubu who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, said, “the concept of Inland Dry Ports has gained prominence globally, particularly with the container revolution and exporters located within inland cities as well as neighbouring hinterland countries such as: Niger, Chad, Northern Cameroon and Central Africa,”.

He pointed out that the completion and commissioning of the Funtua Inland Dry Port is the third to be completed among the six legacy Inland Dry Port projects spread across the nation’s six Geo – political Zones.

The President urged national and international maritime practitioners, shippers, shipping companies landlocked countries and Port users to take full advantage of the Inland Dry Ports for imports and exports.

He also called on the general Public, host communities and the State to consider the Funtua Inland Dry Port as part of our national assets and ensure its protection.

“Please act diligently in ensuring the efficient functioning of these facilities, free from unnecessary bureaucracy and delays, without compromising national interest and security”.

In his part, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Oyetola Adegboyega, said the Inland Dry Port initiative was conceived as part of the Federal Government’s Ports reform programme and it is to be sited at chosen locations across the country.

Speaking further, he said the six Inland Dry Ports approved by the Federal Executive Council in March 2006 was to be concessioned to private sector operators on Public-Private-PartnershiP (PPP) with the strategic framework to Build, Own, Operate and then transfer the projects to the government.

“The Funtua Inland Dry Port project in Katsina State was among the six Inland Dry Ports approved and was concessioned to Messrs Equatorial Marine Oil & Gas Limited.

“It was inherited at 80 percent completion stage. This, prompted me to announce in November last year that it would be ready for commissioning in the first quarter of this year”, Oyetola said.

“Additionally, as part of efforts to further decongest the ports and increase their efficiency and optimisation, we are embarking on Ports’ rehabilitation and modernisation.

‘As we speak, the process of engineering, procurement, and financing of the project, which is estimated to be around One billion Dollars, is on-going.

“We are also collaborating with the Ministries of Transportation and Works to help further increase our Ports efficiency. For the Ministry of Transportation, we are collaborating on the intra-modal link between the sea ports and the inland dry ports, while the Ministry of Works is assisting in fixing the access roads to our Ports. All these efforts are aimed at improving the ease of doing business in our Ports”, the Minister added.

On the Funtua Inland Dry Port, Oyetola explained that the State was chosen for the project because of its position of being ranked in agricultural products and in other businesses in the country, such as the largest producers of cotton, second largest producers of sorghum, producers of 13 percent of Nigeria’s sugarcane, and other cereals and legume crops and several manufacturing industries, making the State not just suited, but most qualified for an Inland Dry Port

The minister in a statement by the Director Press and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi, said, the Funtua Inland Dry Port will no doubt further unlock the economic potential of Nigeria and facilitate trade with the land-locked countries like Niger and Chad Republic.

“We will provide importers and exporters located within the hinterland access to shipping and Port services without physically being at the seaports. This, will further promote the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and economic integration as well as support the Presidential Business Enabling Environment Council (PEBEC) initiatives”. The Minister said

Furthermore, Oyetola said the Funtua Inland Dry Port will be a Customs port in accordance with the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap. C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and shall have all the pre-requisites of an international Port.

On his part, the Governor of Katsina State, His Excellency, Dr. Dikko Radda noted that the contributions of the State Government, like the provision of seventy hecters of land provided quick facilitation of the Funtua Inland Dry Port, saying that the completion of the Inland Dry Port will contribute greatky to the development of the State, and the nation at large.

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