By Lucy ogalue
The Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC) has called for collaboration of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) to drive investment in the country’s economy through realisation of the Ibadan Inland Dry Port.
Mr Hassan Bello, NSC’s Executive Secretary, made the call when he led a team to visit the Executive Secretary of NIPC, Yewande Sadiku, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Bello said that transport drives the economy and modern/efficient Infrastructure In the transport sector would result to corresponding growth, Inclusiveness, and development in the economy.
“In this modern era, diversification of sources of revenue have been forced on us and there is no better place to express this diversification than in the transport sector.
“For long we have been import dependent economy, we import almost everything and that is not healthy. So we need investment in infrastructure, we need to look at how do we coordinate, how do we attract investors to us.
“ We have gone through public private partnership, we have to leverage on the private sector because the government has complete faith in it, we are mindful of the ease of doing business and the cost of doing business.
“So at present we have the Ibadan inland dry port for example which is 80,000 TEU port, meant to decongest the Lagos sea port and bring the shipping economy to the door steps of shippers.
“As a nation, we need to export and so the dry port will serve that. It is a 100 million dollar medium contribute investment, the CIRC of China is already the preferred bidder.
“We have gone one or two round of negotiations and we invite NIPC, to join our team of negotiators so that things will be made easy, the contract is very important, many people will be employed otherwise and also some consequential industry or business activities will of course be there.
“So, we know that it requires a lot of approvals, permits, waivers, incentives, pioneering status and other things which your organisation will certainly grant or make possible for it to be,” Bello said.
The NSC boss listed some of the items to include waivers of custom duties, approvals in the aspect of environmental and social impact assessment, approvals relating to immigration matters including our expatriate quota, timely approval of offshore insurance, NOTAP and Federal Support Agreement among others.
He said:“ We have come here to ask for your cooperation, not only for this dry port but for other dry ports so that we establish a kind of rapport or we cement it.”
He enjoined the NIPC to support shippers’ council’s effort in achieving its mandate and growing the Nigerian economy.
The NIPC boss in her remarks pledged the Councils’ support in the realisation of the projects by the shippers’ council based on the provisions in NIPC’s mandate.
“In relation to your request, we will be very happy to support you and you can take NIPC’s support for granted in the context of development of Ibadan Inland Dry port.
“So, the number of things that you mentioned that you wanted approval for, you referred to waivers for custom duties, approvals relating to immigration and expatriate quota, Federal Government support and the like.
“ The approvals and waivers that come from third party agencies, we can provide guidance on how to peach the request so that it is favourably considered by the relevant authorities.
“But NIPC does not give any waivers or incentives generally but we often advise ministries on incentives that need to be created to enable investments to happen and we will be happy to work with you to do that,’’ Sadiku said.
According to Sadiku, the NIPC has a one-stop investment centre that houses a lot of agencies including the NSC, adding that if approvals are required from government agencies the council will be happy to assist.