The Nigerian Shippers Council said on Monday the Presidency would inaugurate the country’s first Inland Dry Port in Kakuri, Kaduna State on Thursday.
A statement by Mr. Ignatius Nweke, Director, Special Duties, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) on Monday in Abuja, disclosed this.
Nweke said the dry port was an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road, rail and air to a sea port and operating as a centre for trans-shipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.
He said the port, which was built by Kaduna Inland Dry Port Limited, was among the seven being promoted by the council.
According to him, the port has the capacity to handle 29,000 tonnes of cargoes yearly at the first phase of operation and likely to double when fully completed.
“It is also estimated to generate no fewer than 5,000 direct employment at the commencement of operations. The Kaduna Dry Port, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, would receive cargo from Apapa Port in Lagos, through the railway or by road and also export goods through the same channel,” he said.
Nweke said the idea to establish Inland Container Depots in the hinterland was informed by the need to reduce the congestion in Lagos ports and provide relief for the busy Apapa road.
He said the port, when inaugurated, would provide an easy process for the exportation of farm produce from the Kaduna and neighboring states as well as landlocked countries.
Nweke noted that Kaduna State was the largest producer of ginger in the country, stressing that the new port provided the opportunity for exportation of processed agricultural produce to other countries.
He added that the market for Kaduna ginger would improve tremendously, once the dry port commenced full operations on Thursday.
According to him, it will also boost the exportation of the produce and others such as hibiscus, sesame seed, Shea Butter to China, Singapore, America, UK and other countries where agricultural products are in high demand.
He said the council would fully support the Kaduna port to achieve its employment creation and revenue generation initiatives.
According to him, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, will be the host while Gov. Nasir El-Rufai will be the Chief Host.
Other locations of Inland Dry Ports were approved and already concessioned to private sector operators by the ICDs Implementation Committee of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
“There are Isiala Ngwa (Abia); Erunmu, Ibadan (Oyo State); Heipang (Plateau); Zawachiki (Kano State); Zamfarawa, Funtua (Katsina State) and Maiduguri (Borno),” he said.