The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NCS); Mr Hassan Bello has disclosed that the Council will boost the take-off of the Ibadan Inland Dry port in August with the signing of a facility worth over US$500 million.
Bello also informed that the movement of cargoes from Lagos ports to the Kaduna Inland Dry port through rail is now steady on a weekly basis.
Bello disclosed this on Tuesday in Lagos during the second transport leadership lecture organised by Kings Communication Limited with the theme "Leadership in A Next level"
On the Ibadan facility, he said: “We are going to sign the Ibadan dry port in August with $500 million facility which is going to be modern and we have to make it distinct to remove what's happening at the seaport, and we are already winning because we have started receiving cargoes from our competitors.
"Although we have a problem of interconnectivity which is being solved now, and this shows that government is poised to make a difference, by the time the infrastructure around Apapa is mitigated we will see a resemblance of order, but we are already having a short medium and long term solutions." he said.
The NSC boss confirmed that there are challenges mitigating against ease of doing business at the port, he was however optimistic that the challenges are surmountable.
"We have to tell the government the truth that there are infrastructural deficit and government has to create a conducive environment because the operative atmosphere is a little bit harsh”
"We have challenges, a lot of it, but it is not insurmountable, when I look at the deficit in infrastructure for example and someone said we need N3 trillion to make up for our deficit, that means about N100 billion every year for the next 30 years, I am not down cast by that, like I used to say, you can't go to Canada because they have done everything, but here we are about to build and so we should not be daunted by the challenges but rather we should be rejuvenated by the opportunities.
"We have to do a lot of things in the various sub sector of the economy and I think the African Continental free trade agreement could be the spur that we need.
"We are talking about a N2 trillion economy, we are talking about 1.2 billion people, we are talking about 54 countries, and we are talking about protection and the cost of production under operation.
"So Nigeria must be geared to challenge on this, I have always said we need to have imperial outlook to this trade negotiations, and Nigeria is so big that it cannot be treated with other countries,
"We must have some advantages, as a matter of fact Nigeria is already the hub, everything will be focused on Nigeria and we will strain to have fair competition but leadership is completely important.
"So on behalf on NCS which is contributing to bridging the deficit in Nigeria, an happy to announced that cargo is now been transported to Kaduna inland dry port by train on a weekly bases”, he said.