By Lucy Ogalue
Mr Emmanual Jime, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has urged the concessionaires of the Funtua Inland Dry Port to ensure they complied with the specifications for the construction of a dry port.
Jime gave the advice when the concessionaire, led by Mr Usman Abass, Managing Director, Equatorial Marine Oil and Gas Ltd, visited him in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He urged them to hasten the level of construction of the stacking area, saying that no dry port was complete without a stacking area.
He further said the ministry had approved the IDP’s operational manual, which had been produced and would be launched soon.
The executive secretary expressed joy at the level of work done so far at the port, while hoping it would be ready for inauguration soon.
”Today, I am happy to say that the information I have received gives me great cause for joy and in no time the Funtua dry port will be up and running.
” And we are looking forward to the inauguration and commissioning of that project, like how I have been told, hopefully within this first quarter”, he added.
He noted that the council had requested its consultant to monitor very closely developments going on at the port, and report back on a weekly basis.
Jime explained that funding was key in delivering a dry port and that the shippers’ council had put together a consultant, Mark Analytics, to help in that area.
”They have capacity to assist businesses such as yours to access funds. So I urge you to take advantage of it,” he added.
While commending the efforts of the Katsina government, he urged other states to participate in promoting the Public-Private-Partnership arrangement in the country.
Earlier, the concessionaire appealed to the executive secretary to intervene in the construction of a rail line along the route and obtaining of a license from NEPZA.
”We have been in touch with the NRC for some time now, making enquiries and meeting their requests, but unfortunately the real construction of the rail has not taken place.
”We have discussed with them, they have come to inspect and identified how the rail track will be designed.
”They are on it but we appeal that you give a further push to see the construction actually commences.
”The other agency is NEPZA, we have applied and it was approved, but we are waiting for the pronouncement by the minister.
”We have a lot of cash crops like cotton, which we want to export, we want to focus on export processing but we need the license from NEPZA to be able to do that.
”We seek your support so that the project will be fulfilled.(NAN)