The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to complete rail connection to proposed dry ports in the country to ensure their quick take off.
This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Ajibola Muraina (PDP-Oya) at the plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion earlier, Muraina said that the establishment of inland dry ports otherwise known as Inland Container Depots (ICDs) and Containers Freight Stations (CFS) by the Nigerian Shippers Council was highly commendable.
The lawmaker said that action would lead to economic development of the nation by creating more jobs.
Muraina said that the dry ports which are equivalent of sea ports located in the hinterland as they receive containers by rail or road from the sea ports for examination and clearance by customs and other competent authorities.
He recalled that the seven approved locations for the ICD and Container Freight Stations (CFSs) were concessioned to private sector operators by the ICD Implementation Committee of the Ministry of Transportation.
“The locations are IsialaNgwa, Aba – East gate Inland Container Terminal Ltd.;Erunmu, Ibadan – Catamaran Logistics Ltd.;Heipang-Jos – Duncan Maritime Ltd.;Zawachi-Kano – Dala Inland Dry Port.;Zamfarawa- Funtua – Equatorial Marine Ltd.;Jauri-Maiduguri – Migfor Nigeria Ltd.;ICNL-Kaduna – Commissioned,” he said.
He said that the ICDs/CFSs were expected to bring shipping services to the door steps of shippers across the nation.
The lawmaker said that the idea is to decongest seaports and make them user friendly.
According to him, the dry ports are to provide impetus to revive and modernise the railways as primary mode for long distance haulage.
Muraina said that beside the Kaduna Inland Dry Port which was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in January 2018, other dry ports are yet to be completed by the concessionaires.
He said the delay in the competition of the dry ports was due to poor funding and slow pace of work in most of the ports.
The legislator said that the completion of the ports would stop diversion of cargo to neighbouring countries which is depriving Nigeria of the much-needed revenue.
In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Ahmed Wase (APC-Plateau) mandated the Committees on Land Transport, Ports and Harbour to ensure the completion of the ports.
Wase charged the committees to ensure that the ports are well funded considering their economic importance to the nation