The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has designated Dala Inland Dry Port in Kano as the port of origin for items exported from the nation and the final destination for goods imported through her seaports.
When making the announcement in Kano, the minister of transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, revealed that the Federal Executive Council had approved the historic event as part of the government’s reform program to encourage effective transportation, decongest the seaports, and bring shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters.
“Speed to the markets with finished goods and lower transportation costs are the major drivers more than ever before,” he stated of the modern, global economy.
Regarding the decision to situate the project in Kano, Sambo stated: “Kano State’s significance as the commercial hub of northern Nigeria with a significant volume of agricultural commerce and export is well known.
The state is home to several manufacturing companies, assembly factories, and a sizable number of textile and agro-allied enterprises. It is not only appropriate, but also highly qualified,” he continued.
He urged shipping firms, marine participants, landlocked nations like Chad and Niger, as well as other port users, to fully utilize the Dala IDP for the import and export of their products.
The Dala port, according to Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gowuna, is a step toward realizing the state’s many potentials. Kano State continues to have the largest non-oil and gas economy in the nation, with a Gross Domestic Product of $12 billion that is primarily driven by trade, manufacturing, and subsistence farming.
In addition, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Standing Committee of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, said: “I am glad that the designation of Dala Inland Dry Port as a port of origin and final destination coincides with the facility tour of the Inter-Ministerial Standing Committee of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation and Niger Economic Operators. The facility is a component of the bilateral agreements Nigeria and Niger have that are intended to evaluate Nigeria’s readiness for the passage of Nigerien goods.
Ajani continued by saying that Nigeria stands to gain from the expanded use of her corridor by landlocked nations. With this statement, Dala port is now the closest port to the Niger Republic.
For his part, Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, said that the Dala port was built under a PPP employing the Build, Operate, and Transfer approach. He stated that the project will, among many other advantages, encourage the revival and modernization of the railway as the main form of long-distance transportation, lower the cost of delivering cargo to the hinterland, give Nigeria a competitive edge by ratifying the African Continental Free Trade Agreement accord, and create a large number of job opportunities.
Jime promised that by having transit facilities and working around-the-clock, the Council would make sure that not just Dala port but all others would be completely compliance with the rules of the Operational Manual for Inland Dry Port.
For his part, the managing director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, said: “I hope Dala Inland Dry Port will tap in so that they can maximize the essence of having rail track into their premises. The Board of NRC has approved track access to any body or company wishing to provide the infrastructure, that is the rolling stock to operate on the track.”
The Dala IDP would further strengthen the trans-Saharan commerce for which Kano was once a hub, said Abubakar Bawuro, Chairman of Dala Port, in his presentation. He said that Niger, Chad, and Cameroun have shown a want to utilize the facility.
The Chairman further revealed that the facility is completely connected to the narrow gauge from Lagos to Kano, and that neighboring nations importing through maritime ports may finish the second leg from Kano to Niger or other areas through road.
The former Minister of Transportation Kema Chikwe, who oversaw the granting of approvals for the IDPs, the Former Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who persisted in pressing the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission’s Inter-Ministerial Standing Committee to expedite the delivery date of the Dala IDP, and the Former Executive Secretary of the NSC, Hassan Bello, who it was revealed has been providing the Dala group, were single