Connect with us


FG Unveils Funtua Inland Dry Port, anticipates significant benefits for users



IMG 20240510 WA0009

The Federal Government has commissioned the Funtua Inland Dry Port in Katsina State, heralding it as Sub- Sahara Hub for agricultural commodities and solid minerals.

President Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu GCFR, who performed the commissioning of the project which was coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy in collaboration with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, expressed optimism that importers and exporters in Nigeria will benefit immensely from the Inland Dry Port project, being inaugurated.

The President, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, maintained that the establishment of Inland Dry Ports in the country will not only create job opportunities for the teeming youths, but will decongest the seaports, accrue huge revenue to the Federal government and also take shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters in the hinterlands.

According to the President, “the concept of Inland Dry Ports has gained prominence globally, particularly with the container revolution and exporters located within inland cities as well as neighbouring hinterland countries such as: Niger, Chad, Northern Cameroon and Central Africa.

The President reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to prioritizing the completion and utilization of more dry port projects in the country which he described as critical infrastructure necessary for seamless operation, pointed out that the completion and commissioning of the Funtua Inland Dry Port is the third to be completed among the six legacy Inland Dry Port projects spread across the nation’s six Geo – political Zones.

Describing the infrastructure as integral to the Administration’s commitment to promoting export business across Nigeria thereby, achieving trade balance, reduce costs and enhance the ease of doing business, the President called on national and international maritime practitioners, shippers, shipping companies landlocked countries and Port users to take full advantage of the Inland Dry Ports for imports and exports.

He therefore, enjoined the general Public, host communities and the State to consider the Funtua Inland Dry Port as part of our national assets and ensure its protection. To the Nigerian Customs Service and all other port users, the President said: “Please act diligently in ensuring the efficient functioning of these facilities, free from unnecessary bureaucracy and delays, without compromising national interest and security”.

Speaking at the occasion on Thursday, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Oyetola Adegboyega, said
the Inland Dry Port initiative was conceived as part of the Federal Government’s Ports reform programme and it is to be sited at chosen locations across the country.

He further said the six Inland Dry Ports approved by the Federal Executive Council in March 2006 was to be concessioned to private sector operators on Public-Private-PartnershiP (PPP) with the strategic framework to Build, Own, Operate and then transfer the projects to the government.

“The Funtua Inland Dry Port project in Katsina State was among the six Inland Dry Ports approved and was concessioned to Messrs Equatorial Marine Oil & Gas Limited. It was inherited at 80 percent completion stage. This, prompted me to announce in November last year that it would be ready for commissioning in the first quarter of this year.

“Additionally, as part of efforts to further decongest the ports and increase their efficiency and optimisation, we are embarking on Ports’ rehabilitation and modernisation. As we speak, the process of engineering, procurement, and financing of the project, which is estimated to be around One billion Dollars, is on-going. We are also collaborating with the Ministries of Transportation and Works to help further increase our Ports efficiency. For the Ministry of Transportation, we are collaborating on the intra-modal link between the sea ports and the inland dry ports, while the Ministry of Works is assisting in fixing the access roads to our Ports. All these efforts are aimed at improving the ease of doing business in our Ports”, the Minister added.

On the Funtua Inland Dry Port, Oyetola explained that the State was chosen for the project because of its position of being ranked in agricultural products and in other businesses in the country, such as the largest producers of cotton, second largest producers of sorghum, producers of 13 percent of Nigeria’s sugarcane, and other cereals and legume crops and several manufacturing industries, making the State not just suited, but most qualified for an Inland Dry Port

According to the Minister, the Funtua Inland Dry Port will no doubt further unlock the economic potential of Nigeria and facilitate trade with the land-locked countries like Niger and Chad Republic.

“We will provide importers and exporters located within the hinterland access to shipping and Port services without physically being at the seaports. This, will further promote the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and economic integration as well as support the Presidential Business Enabling Environment Council (PEBEC) initiatives”. The Minister said

Furthermore, Oyetola said the Funtua Inland Dry Port will be a Customs port in accordance with the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap. C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and shall have all the pre-requisites of an international Port.

On his part, the Governor of Katsina State, Dr. Dikko Umar Radda, noted that the contributions of the State Government, like the provision of seventy hecters of land provided quick facilitation of the Funtua Inland Dry Port, saying that the completion of the Inland Dry Port will contribute greatky to the development of the State, and the nation at large.