… AfCFTA To Boost African Trade by $29trillion
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Executive Governor of Kano State, Abdulahi Ganduje today, Friday 16th 2020, paid a working visit to the headquaters of Nigerian Shippers Council in Apapa Lagos, even as he called on the Ministry of Transportation to declare the Dala Inland Dry Port as a port of origin and destination by the Honorable Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC)
The Kano Governor said his government has so far committed N2.4billion to the Dala Inland Dry Port Project.
The Dala Island Dry Port is sited on a 200 hectares of virgin land, it is designed with container capacity of 20,000 TEU, which is expected to grow to as much as 50,000 TEU in three years time, and 80,000TEU in five years.
The dry port was first concessioned in 2003 while its concession agreement was signed officially in 2006. Once completed the dry port would be getting 30 Billion Metric Tonnes of cargoes from Lagos to Kano State by rail.
Gov Ganduje assured that when completed, the Dala Island Dry Port Project will continously boost the Kano economy in particular and the Nigerian economy in general.
He said the Inland Port will facilitate efficient handling of both import and export cargoes, adding that the state shall exploit all the opportunities offered by the facility to aggressively grow her exports to boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange in addition to growing Kano States Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)
Once completed, Ganduje said the dry port would equally serve neighboring landiocked countries including Niger Republic, Chad, Northern Cameroon and the rest of Sahel Africa up to Mauritania.
He appealed to the Shippers Council to among other things “Follow up with the Nigerian Railway Corporation for the rail line extension into the inland port, ensure cooperation and collaboration between the Shipping lines and their Agents with the Inland Port to allow seamless flow of both Import and EXport Cargoes”
“Facilitate the actualization of the Inland Port to be A transport and Logistics Free Zone;
Facilitate linkages and access to the markets in the Sahel African ’Countries particularly the Chad and Niger Republics”
“I wish to precisely express our gratitude to the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello for his personal commitment towards the actualization of the Project.
“The Kano State Government under my watch, appreciates the economic importance of the Inland Dry Port Project to the socioeconomic wellbeing of my people and we are fully committed to facilitate and support its actualization”
“We have already provided critical infrastructures required for the project, notably: Construction of standard dual carriage access road to the project site; Provision of Power and Water to the site; Other essential support of propagating the project and promoting it both for marketing if and obtaining support from appropriate quotas particularly regulatory agencies” he said
Speaking earlier, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr Hassan Bello appreciated the Kano State Government who according to him have already committed about N2.4billion on the access road to the terminal which is 50% completed.
Bello said the perimeter fencing is being done, electricity is being done, water is being provided and many other amenities at the dry port.
Bello described Inland Dry Ports as one of the tools which Nigeria can use to harness the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) saying that Nigeria needs to get ready to receive this and utilise it.
Speaking, Bello said “It is not by our size or our population, it is how far we have gone to bring infrastructure, industries and productions in our various states, that is the only time Nigeria can benefit”
“The Free Trade Agreement is the largest single market accounting for about $4trillions in spending and investment across 54 countries, it would cover 1.2billion people in Africa, and over $3billion in GDP”
“By 2050, it would expand the economy of Africa to $29trillion, it would boost intra African trade which is currently at 18% to 52%”
“In Europe, the trade amongst themselves is 70%, in North America it is 49% while in Asia they have 35%. But in Africa, we have only 18%. However with the introduction of the AfCFTA, we would go up to $52%, but the benefit would depend on infrastructure”
“Currently, Africa has a deficit of infrastructure of over $100billion.
The Kano State has started bridging that gap and very soon you would realise that you have an advantage over other states” Bello
According to him, the Lagos-Kano railway line would also boost the Kano dry port, adding that the economy of the region is set for an explosion.
“We hope that as expected, ICRC and the Ministry of Transportation latest by December as led the Federal Executive Council (FEC) would approve this and we would lay the foundation of a significant port in modern Nigeria”
“The Dala Inland Dry Port would directly under the supervision of Shippers Council, we need a port with electronic gates, we dont want to experience gridlock, we need short delivery time of cargo by road and rail, we need the port to operate 24 hours and model approach of cargo delivery” he said