The Edo Inland Container Dry Port (EDO-ICD) will soon commence export activities from operational base, an official of the port has said.
Mr Charles Akhigbe, the Chief Executive Officer of Atlanque Marine Engineering Service (AMES), promoter of the Edo-ICD, announced this on Monday at a meeting with stakeholders.
The stakeholders include the Edo State Export Cluster Group and relevant federal agencies.
Akhigbe said that the meeting was to discuss the challenges of doing business with a view to addressing them, especially on produce export.
He said buyers were already on ground for some of the agricultural produce to be exported from the 56 export clusters.
The chief executive officer explained that the ICD was a Public Private Partnership project driven by the Federal Government, but initiated by private sector.
According to him, the AMES Edo -ICD will be the second in the country to be inaugurated after the Kaduna ICD.He said that it would be inaugurated in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Akhigbe said about 20 containers were expected to leave the port at a stretch, with 12 leaving on daily basis in the first phase.
He added that an average of eight were to be exported in the second phase since the state was a major trade and commerce trade route.
Akhigbe said that the meeting would address Ease of Doing Business, as well as risk and hindrances.
Akhigbe also said that the export project was designed to enhance better export market and access to UK, U.S. and Europe, to give meaningful impetus to job creation in the agriculture sector.
Mr Emmanuel Usoh, the Edo Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Employment and Cooperative, said the state government was creating platform to raise its GDP.
Usoh said that the heart of the nation’s economic base was domiciled in Edo and Delta, adding that Edo had the highest onshore gas reserve.He said the state would take the opportunity of the Export Cluster to create a pool of funding for them.
He assured that the state government would implement all recommendations from the meeting.
Representatives from the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, as well as the Shippers Council attended the meeting.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, among other organisations, also attended the meeting.