Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, says the council will collaborate with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) on dry ports and Truck Transit Parks (TTP) projects.
Bello said this on Friday when a team from the ICRC, led by Mr Chidi Izuwah, its Acting Director-General, visited the council’s headquarters in Lagos.
The dry ports, otherwise known as Inland Container Depots (ICDs) and the TTPs are being built in the six geo-political zones of the country.
“We need the support of the ICRC on the dry ports and Truck Transit Parks (TTP) projects because these projects are guinea pigs of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.
“The Nigerian Shippers’ Council is the promoter of the above-mentioned projects and it will be coordinated by the PPP sector because they are the drivers of the economy.
“Effective operations of the projects will take a lot of load off the highways which will be well coordinated because all the TTPs must link the seaports, as well as the dry ports,’’ Bello said.
He said that the support of the ICRC was necessary, especially on the dry ports project.
The executive secretary suggested that the dry ports should be ports of destination and ports of origin and must conform to international standards.
According to him, Nigerians need to support the Federal Government to achieve its diversification projects so that the country would not be import-dependent.
Bello said that the NSC had engaged in continuous dialogue with the stakeholders to key into the export projects.
According to him, enough is enough, we cannot allow empty containers to be exported back to their ports of origin anymore.
“This is why exporters should improve on exportation and utilise the opportunities.
He said that Kaduna State had the largest production of ‘ginger’, pointing out that stakeholders should tap the opportunity by exporting the product based on the clients’ specifications and follow the rules guiding exportation.
Bello commended exporters for tremendous improvement on export production, saying that government would ensure that basic infrastructure were available for the export projects in the country to flourish.
He said that transportation could grow the economy.
“This was what made the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, to embark on rail, road, as well as inland waterways transportation, to make goods accessible to the owners in good time,’’ the executive secretary said.
In his remarks, Izuwah pledged to support the NSC to make Nigeria a preferred destination for all types of cargoes.
“Transportation plays a key role in infrastructure development. If you want to grow rich, build a road first.
“An effective transportation system allows traders to move freely from one place to the other and it also creates job empowerment,’’ the ICRC boss said.
He commended the management of the NSC for the tremendous achievements in the transportation sector.
Izuwah said that the fastest way to improve port capacity “is to build dry ports for shippers to have quick access to their cargo and reduce time, as well as the costs of doing business in Nigeria’’.
“We are partnering with the council to look for ways we can quickly bring in the private sector that has the capital to be able to partner and deliver it.
“When you bring the private sector, you are building development because it will create jobs and opportunities.
“We are working with the council to ensure that in line with the Change Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari, we bring the private sector to provide these services and facilities for Nigerians,’’ Izuwah said.
He said that the ICRC would meet the directors of the NSC to streamline the procedures of PPP scheme.
Izuwah said that Canadians ran the best PPP market in the world, saying that he would support the NSC to ensure that the same Canadians come back and learn more from Nigerians. (NAN)