WorldStage Newsonline– The Kaduna Inland Dry port would generate 24,000 direct jobs through cargo delivery by rail , according to Mr Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC).
Bello told newsmen on the sideline of the One-Day interactive programme held on Tuesday in Kaduna that NSC was currently discussing with a foreign agency in London and local investors to see what value could be added to the port.
“As you can see businesses are springing up around the port, regulatory agencies are coming, restaurants, trucks are also coming in.
“About 24,000 direct jobs will be created from this project, if we are able to connect to Niger Republic and Chad to use the port as destination port for their cargo, it will have a multiplier effect for Kaduna and it’s environs.
“We will be able to decongest the port in Apapa and Tincan Island and we won’t be having the gridlock we are experiencing now.
He said that the council was also discussing with Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council in London to bring them to Kaduna to have a look and to know what value they can add to the dry port.
“It is important that the dry port is not just a Transportation centre but a hub of economic activities,“he said.
Bello said that so many facilities like stores, refrigerated warehouses, consolidation centers, factories were needed for packaging which was a problem for export.
“We are talking with the Nigerian Railway to create more space for the associated industries, it’s an industrial hub where things are processed.
“We don’t want to be exporting raw materials without being processed and there is also need to improve on the packaging,” he said.
Bello said that the port may also be a free trade zone adding that they were talking with the appropriate authorities to see to it.
He said about 24 wagons delivered 24 containers on each trip, adding that it takes two days for cargoes to get to Kaduna from Lagos.
“It will be two trips per week and they will also take laden containers. If it cost N700, 000 to bring 20ft container to Kaduna from Lagos by road, it could be 50 per cent lesser by rail,“he said.
He said that rail would determine the cost of transportation that would bring down the cost of production and there would be no inflation in Kaduna and its environ.
The NSC boss said that the major cargo coming in were industrials goods and vehicles.