Rotimi Raimi-Hassan, General Manager, Kaduna Inland Dry Port in this interview said the port is facing challenges of cargoes’ rail movement, global recognition and shipping companies designation as port of final destination, calling for increased patronage of the facility by all the northern states to maximise full benefits of having port facility closer to them.According to him, only three northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are taking advantage of the port for now.
Overview of Kaduna dry Port operations since commissioning by President Buhari
Kaduna inland dry port was commissioned in January 4th, 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari as a port of origin and port of destination, being the first dry port in Nigeria. It has been on a partial operation due to some challenges hindering it from operating as full dry port and these challenges are being addressed by Nigerian Shipper’s Council – Regulator of Inland dry ports operators in Nigeria. The challenges have not enabled us to commence full operations as a dry port.Although, Nigerian shipper’s council is trying their best and these challenges we would have overcome it if other stakeholders in the industry cooperate and gives full support to the objective goals of dry ports operation in Nigeria. Shipping companies are yet to support Kaduna inland dry port as port of final destination in shipping documents by issuance of through bill of lading (TBL), movement of cargoes by road and low patronage by many northern statesInland Dry Ports Regulator – Nigeria Shippers Council is looking into the issues and we believe, they will be addressed very soon
Support enjoyed from the Kaduna and other northern state governments
The Kaduna State government has done its bit as the host state by providing water, electricity, access road and full support to Kaduna inland dry port. I want to commend Governor Nasir El-Rufai for this while counting on more support from the state government.I want to emphasize that the governor has been a strong supporter of the dry port project. Aside other roads he constricted leading to the dry port, there is an ongoing dual carriage road that is over 70 per cent completed he is working on which will further boost our operations.The state government , in our opinion, considers the port’s multiplier effect to Kaduna in terms of economic activities to the state; creation of employment, encouraging the development of other businesses related to port activities; bring shipping services to the doorstep of shippers in northern Nigeria; increases revenue generation to state and Federal Government; enhanced localisation of industries in the northern states, in particular Kaduna State; increase socio-economic activities in Kaduna State and neighboring states and many more.
Level of patronage of facilities by proximate northern states
Mostly, Kaduna, Kano, Abuja, Niger are the few states that are patronizing Kaduna dry port for now, while the dry port was established to cater for northern states. On our part, we had engaged in seminars, electronic advert, personal contacts but the required complementary services support from other stakeholders like shipping companies, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Seaport/Terminal Operators, NPA, Appointment of Pre-Inspection agent etc. are not there for us to forge ahead on aggressive marketing.We consider that those supports are imperative in providing dry port operations service to port users.
Appraisal of Customs presence and corporate support for port project. Are you linked to NICIS 11?
We have full complement of Customs presence in Kaduna Inland dry port. I need to remind you that it’s a Customs port where we have all units of Customs officers performing their legitimate duties with other port securities and regulatory agencies joining the Customs in physical examination exercise. The Kaduna inland dry port is fully linked with NICCIS 11 and in tune with Customs modernisation
Volume of export you have processed so far
On our first year of commencing operations in 2018, we engaged the exporters in seminars to sensitize and informed them about the benefits of using KIDP platform position to cater for their export forwarding , direct to other countries ports of destination abroad.Second year in 2019, there was an improvement in export of goods transferred from KIDP. We processed about 2,378.24 metric tons last year (2019).
Number of ontainers moved to your facility by rail and monthly average
Nigeria Railway Corporation needs to recognise the importance of rail haulage and its significant role in movement of cargoes to the Kaduna inland Dry Port location. The situation calls for a lot of improvement on the side of NRC, there are not enough wagons and locomotives that will haul containers here and meet up our demands. Presently, we are operating at an average of less than two per cent capacity of our throughput monthly. Last year, we moved about 120 Teus within three months only before NRC stopped operation due to construction going on within Iju to Apapa axis in Lagos.
Commodities being exported through the port ighest
The export commodities are ginger, cow horn, hibiscus flowers also known as Zobo, solid minerals – manganese, zinc ore etc.We had 2,017 metric tons of manganese solid, minerals exported from Kaduna inland dry port last year
Ease of moving cargoes from Lagos ports to Kaduna
In ideal situation of dry port logistics, rail is a major mode of transport from the seaport serving as a connecting link to dry port terminal, mass evacuation from the mother port with immediate transfer to dry port but that is not the case here in Nigeria.The shipping lines/companies do not recognize it as full fledged port of destination, that is our major issue concern . This is one of the difficult challenge we face in operating a dry port, dry port logistics operation is from port of loading to port of destination -KIDP while Lagos seaports/terminals; TCIP or Onne/PH are port of discharge.We operate under Customs bond status moving cargoes on trucks by road which is expensive and even involves several documentation process with various Customs units for processing/clearances coupled with other agencies clearance before leaving the respective ports of discharge.
Level of terminal usage and how many containers (or Teus) can it accommodate?
It is underutiliSed due to challenges mentioned earlier, average of 350 to 400 Teus monthly. The port can accommodate more than 4,000 Teus.
For first quarter this year, what was achieved compared with January to march of 2019?
The containers throughput to KIDP in first quarter of 2020 was above 1,100 Teus compared to about 700 TEUs recorded in January to March 2019 , same period.