The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Nigerian Shippers Council are working together to establish a dry port and truck transit terminal valued at over $150 Million.
This partnership is the outcome of a working visit by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr. Hassan Bello and his Management Team to the FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello last week.
Speaking on the development, the FCT Minister stated that the Abuja Master-Plan envisaged a dry port and truck transit terminals in the Territory, noting that the current growth and development being experienced in the FCT was indicative that Abuja is ripe for all the necessary complements of a mega city.
He announced that a joint team would be constituted to work out the modalities for the implementation of the projects.
Bello informed his guests that the Idu Station is Abuja’s transportation hub, ensuring connectivity by road, air and rail linking Eastern, Northern and Western lines while revealing that there is also a spur rail line from Minna in Niger State, to Abuja, envisaged to connect to the Baru Port.
In a press statement, the Chief Press Secretary, to the Minister, Cosmas Uzodinma, Bello urged the management of the Council to factor these provisions in the project and investment plan.
FCT Minister, indicated that there is already a bus terminal under construction in Abuja and invited the partnership of the Shippers Council, stating, “FCT can leverage the network of the Council in attracting investors and partners for the project.
This also includes the Dei Dei International Cattle Market”, which Bello described as, “a massive centre for the transshipment of cattle, fruits and vegetables”, saying the place is also ripe for development.
FCT, the Minister added, already has a policy governing the operation of articulated vehicles regarding when and where they can ply. He disclosed that FCTA is working to strengthen the institutional framework for the enforcement of the regulations.
He congratulated the NSC team on the passage of the Bill transforming them into the National Transport Commission and appealed to the Council to do something on illegal reconstruction of truck to carry loads above their required tonnage. This, the Minister lamented, has resulted in so much carnage on our roads, as well as caused severe damages on roads, thus reducing their lifespan.
In his address at the event, the Executive Secretary, noted that the Nigerian Shippers Council was established in 1978 as an intervention agency with functions such the development of infrastructure on marine, roads and inland waterways including airports.
He noted that the Transportation Sector is responsible for up to 2.5 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He commended the FCT Administration for the successful completion of the Abuja Light Rail project as well as the various land mark accomplishment in the area of infrastructure, saying, “The execution of the Light Rail is a source of pride to all of us as well as the various road infrastructure you have completed. It has eased movement in the city and it is a potent evident that you are working.”
Abuja, he noted, is fast becoming a solid economic centre and we hope it would have its own port of destination and origin. He unveiled the plan of the Council to build a truck transit centre as well as a dry port where all the trucks will have their own facilities so that it does not disrupt the flow of the city. This, he disclosed, would be developed through a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) strategy.
Current experience whereby these truck litter major junctions on our roads, he said, downgrades our environment, stating that the plan is part of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) of the present government. The facilities, he said, would include, gas stations, hotels, clinics, worship houses, and other necessary facilities. He envisaged that the facilities would create jobs, improve city aesthetics, and bolster the economy.
He revealed that the Council has obtained land for similar developments in Obolo Afor, Enugu State and Lokoja, Kogi State while adding that the Kaduna dry port is already adding value to the state. He disclosed that private equity would comprise about 90 per cent of the investment outlay estimated at over N150 million dollars.