Ahead of the inauguration of the AMES-Edo Inland Dry Port, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to see to the completion of the project and commencement of operations at the facilities.
Shippers’ Council’s Deputy Director, Public Private Partnership (PPP), Mr Glory Onojedo, said this in Benin on Monday during the physical inspection of the project by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Council (ICRC) and the NSC at Agbonmoba community near Benin.
Representatives of the Federal Ministries of Transport and Finance, South-South Chambers of Commerce and Benin Chambers of Commerce were at present at the event.
The others represented were Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Edo State Export Cluster and representatives of the host community.
The Shippers Council top official also restated the commitment of the NSC to the implementation of the project, saying that it was the wish of government that export cargo would start originating from the various states across the country.
He said that ports in the hinterland would assist in decongesting ports and roads in Lagos.
Onojedo said that government concessioned six inland dry ports in 2006 and which were currently at various stages of completion.
He said that the AMES-Edo Inland Dry Port had fulfilled substantially most of the requirements for a PPP, adding that the project was already awarded a four-star status few months ago.
“By this, it means the project is ready to go and the full might of the Federal Government is behind the project,” he said.
Mr Humphrey Azeke of the ICRC, gave assurance that the council would continue to provide the needed guideline for the regulation and implementation of the project.
Mr Kelvin Uwaibi, the Senior Special Assistant to Edo Government on Investment Promotion, said that the state government was working assiduously to see that businesses in the state thrive.
He said that the state was anxious to see the commencement of activities at the port.
Dr Charles Akhigbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Atlantique Marine Engineering Services (AMES), the Promoters of AMES-Edo Inland Dry Port, said the project, among others, would help accelerate socio-economic transformation of Edo and the South-South in general.
He said it would also drive export business of the state as well as assist in reduction of overall cost of transit cargo to landlocked neighbouring states and countries.
He said that this was because investigation had shown that 70 per cent of cargo cosigned to the Lagos Port complex was destined for the hinterland.