By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Kaduna Inland Dry Port, which was commissioned in January this year, has commenced operations but with some challenges.
The challenges confronting the effective activities of the Dry Port ranges from lack of functional railway transportation system and good road network in the country, among others.
Manager of the Dry Port, Rotimi O. Rotimi, who disclosed these during an interview, noted that even though Kaduna has met all requirements of Inland Dry Port, it would be extremely difficult to boost rapid activities envisaged without good and effective railway, air and land transportation systems as Lagos.
Rotimi said, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, Customs and all stakeholders in the industry met on 26th January, 2018, in a forum organized by the regulatory body where burning issues were discussed exhaustively, and success was achieved.
He however stressed that if the country had good and effective railway systems to connect inland dry port to convey many containers at a time, it would be better, and the activities would be almost immediacy.
The manager informed that a lot of importers and exporters have, however, been coming steadily to inquire, from within and without. He however averred that it normally takes a minimum of 6 weeks to boost activities in dry port.
According to him, if the railway system is improved, operation at the port would pick up in earnest between March and June this year. “Under normal circumstances, business activities are dull in the first quarter of a year, particular China, where importers focus most as Chinese spent most of the period in their home towns and resume in second quarter for business.
“The process of Dry Port is different from what we are doing here. Those coming will do assessments, verify information from suppers and other agents. Movement from where-to-where, whether we have good and functional railway, road and security, even though we have good enough warehouse equipment,” he stated.
The manager, however, thanked federal government on its efforts in improving railway transportation system, saying they have good promises by relevant authorities.
He also commended Governor el-Rufai for the support in ensuring that Kaduna becomes a commercial town for making sure that port succeeds, adding the difference between Lagos and P/Harcourt is port authorities and business activities.
He acknowledged that full commencement of import activities will also help affect ordinary man’s life in terms buying and selling, cost of goods and services through direct import of products to Kaduna.