…Laments delay in rail transport
Uche Usim, Abuja
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for their unflinching support towards the take off and sustained operations of the Kaduna dry port, operated by Inland Container Nigeria Limited in Kaduna State.
In an exclusive chat with Daily Sun in Abuja on Monday, Bello said the CBN has included the Kaduna dry port on its list of entities classified as port of destination for ‘e-form M’.
He added that Customs on its part has issued a station code for the Kaduna dry port, thus recognising it as a full port facility.
He said: “I need to really commend the CBN and Customs for their support to Kaduna ICD.
CBN now issues e-form M for all imports and exports via the facility, while Customs has not only issued a station code, but moved in, trained ICNL staff on Customs clearance system NICIS 2. “So their operations are now linked to Customs platform and soon, Customs will commence discussions on seamless transport system. All containers destined for Kaduna dry port will be tracked by Customs and that will totally address the issue of cargo diversion.
“Right now, the movement of each and every container will be monitored”, the NSC boss explained.
Bello further revealed that shipping companies have agreed to issue what he termed “Through Bill of Laden” to assist in hinterland connection for goods destined to the dry port.
He added that with the coming on board of Kaduna ICD, export of various products, especially ginger has surged.
“Through that facility, we do at least five containers of ginger every week which are for various international markets. This is really commendable. It is in line with Federal Government’s drive to boost export, boost revenue generation and ultimately bring shipping closer to those in the hinterland.
“Right now, some freight forwarders have moved into the facility. SON, NAFDAC and other agencies have applied for offices and the NSC is processing their applications”, he added.
Bello, however,disclosed that there were challenges that need to be tackled for the facility to operate seamlessly.
“Movement of cargo by rail to the facility has not commenced. The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) promised us that 20 wagons will be for the exclusive use of that facility. That’s yet to happen. There is a delay from the manufacturers’ end.
“As soon as they arrive, 20 locomotive wagons will be assigned to the dry port and that will further improve its operations. “Already, the Minister of Transportation has scheduled a meeting with NSC, ICNL, NRC to boost operations at the Kaduna dry port”, he noted.