Abuja – The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has called on state governments to ensure that Inland Container Depots (ICDs) projects in six locations across the country come on stream.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, made the call at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum on Thursday in Abuja.
He said out of the six locations of the ICDs, the project was only operational in Kaduna State because the state government supported it.
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“It is important to know that these ports are also targets for exports and it has come to that stage where Nigeria must export or perish.
“Very important; export is key to Nigeria’s economy. So, we want to have these ICDs as consolidation centres.
“We want to use this port as export; is true that they are not in operation because of some financial issues.
“But the Minister of transportation recently set up a committee under the Nigerian Shipper’s Council to look at the operations of the dry ports and soon they would come on stream.
“Besides, one is functional, that is the Kaduna dry port. The Kaduna dry port as you know has been operating; goods are being taken to Kaduna.
“And I think this is one example where the Kaduna State Government has contributed so
much in actualising the dry port in Kaduna.
“I am using this opportunity to call on all the state governments where these things are sited to double their efforts to make sure that this very important transport infrastructure becomes operational.
“There are challenges quite alright but I think with the setting up of this committee by the honourable minister of transportation, I think we would see the light at the end of the tunnel.“
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He said dry ports were an important aspect of economic infrastructure “that are panacea to port congestion’’.
Bello also described the ports as transient points for cargoes.
The executive secretary, however, said that rail transportation was a major transporter of ICD projects to decongest the ports.
He, however, said transport was the oxygen that the economy must use to breath, adding that that was why NSC was promoting the truck transit parks for safety of cargo.
The executive secretary said without an efficient transportation system no matter how much the nation invest in agriculture, solid minerals and other sectors of the economy, it would come to naught.
Bello said that was why the use of modern infrastructure in our transportation system was necessary.
The executive secretary said that one of the reasons why NSC was promoting the truck transit parks was for safety of cargo to promote the use of modern infrastructure in the transportation sector.
He said the truck transit parks were off the road facilities; instead of trailers parking along the roads or in villages where there were intersections, they could be well organised in the parks.
“So what we do is to have off the road facility where we have petrol stations, accommodation for drivers.
“We will also have weighing equipment to know how much the truck weighs before they are allowed on the roads.
“These are modern infrastructure that can be a source of revenue for the states and we have weigh equipment to know the weight of the trucks on our roads, these are modern infrastructure
“They (truck transit parks) are a source of revenue for the states. If we do this it will be the beginning of modernisation of our infrastructure in the transport sector.’’ (NAN)