Exclusive: Rail System Crucial to Kaduna Dry Port Operations- Shippers’ Council Boss

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The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) Barr. Hassan Bello has reiterated that the success of the Kaduna Inland Dry port or any other dry port in the world is incumbent on the rail system.

In an exclusive interview with Truenews.ng, the council boss decried the worrisome situation whereby containers from imports are conveyed from the seaport by trucks to the kaduna dry port.

His words:” The success of the Kaduna Inland dry port or any other port rests on the rail system. Unfortunately, containers for imports are conveyed by trucks which make it expensive. However, the Nigerian Railway Corporation is about to provide locomotives and wagons to convey the containers from the seaport to Kaduna Dry port” Expressing optimism that soonest the number of containers arriving the dry port will increase.

On the 2018 report of operational activities of the dry port obtained by TrueNews.ng Barr. Bello explained that “the dry port recorded monthly imports of over 150 container throughputs. This is a positive development in the dry port performance ratings considering it being a new port, while the export under the same period recorded very low performance”

Furthermore, the imports were mostly household equipment and vehicles, the document reads.

On import performance rating, he also noted that, The Kaduna Inland Dry port in the months of January to December 2018 recorded total imports of two thousand, three hundred and eighteen (2,318) containers with average number of over 150 containers per month. The container traffic was slightly low in the second quarter of the year due to the Apapa gridlock, operational challenges and insecurity towards the fourth quarter of the year in the Kaduna environment.

Meanwhile on export performance rating, he also clarified that “the KIDP recorded an export of only (12) containers made up of ten (10) containers of ginger and one each of cow-horn and charcoal. The containers of ginger were shipped to Rotterdam and those of the cow-horn and Charcoal were shipped to Vietnam.

The export performance rating within the period was extremely poor. This was due to lack of railway locomotives and wagons, lack of export product clusters, problems of packaging and operational challenges.

Furthermore, he applauded the efforts of government agencies towards the successful operation of the Kaduna dry port, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria for approving and enlisting the KIDP among the approved recognized ports in Nigeria for all importers to log in Form ‘M’ E-platform for documentation procedure and process for importing raw materials and finished goods into the country; the Nigerian customs, NDLEA, SON, NAFDAC, SSS, NEXIM BANK and the Kaduna State government- which he said has been very supportive by providing necessary amenities and construction of a concretized motor way for trucks access to the port and hosting of economic summit towards developing agricultural exports from Kaduna and its environment.

On challenges of the KIDP, he expressed displeasure over the reluctant attitude of shipping companies in issuing Through Bill of Laden to shippers coming to Kaduna dry port, the unavailability of pre-inspection agent at the dry ports and Rail-lack of locomotives and wagons.

“Shipping companies prefer rail than road transportations. The KIDP needs dedicated locomotives and wagons for the KIDP operation. The Manager Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) promised to provide the wagons.”

Adding that the, “dry port are key channel of the diversification of the Nigerian economy. The significance of non-oil export to Nigerian economy can firstly be appreciated from the perspective of export and economic development.”

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