The Dala Inland Dry Port and its impact on host communities
Friday, August 5, 2022 will go down in history as the day the Dala Inland Dry Port was officially declared a port of origin and destination by the Federal Government through the new Minister of Transport Engineering Mu’ azu Jaji Sambo who was in Kano that fateful day to bring such a gigantic project to life since the idea was conceived in 2006 twenty years ago.
The minister informed the assembly that the declaration of the dry port as a port of origin and destination in Kano was part of the federal government’s commitment to decongest existing seaports and expand shipping activities in the rear -country.
He said today that Dala Dry Port has become fully certified and declared as a port of origin and destination by the federal government and is empowered to operate shipping business including customs clearance and l shipping cargo directly from anywhere in the world to Kano State.
According to him, the completion and subsequent declaration of the Dala Inland Dry Port started in 2006 when the Federal Government approved six dry ports across the country to increase the country’s revenue in the non-oil sector.
Engineer Muazu pointed out that critical transport infrastructure based on public-private partnership and transfer model aims to facilitate economic viability in the country and strengthen the Trans-African Free Trade Agreement with neighboring countries.
In his presentation, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Emmanuel Jime, said the unveiling of the port as an easy way to do business for hinterland importers and exporters.
“Nigeria’s land is vast and if you can move shipping inland, you can imagine the level of economic activity you will attract. Thus, the Dala Inland Dry Port is a game changer that would transform trade and the economy in Nigeria and other neighboring countries”.
In his address, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Shippers Council, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, said that Inland Dry Ports are also known as Inland Container Ports (ICDs) or Container Cargo Stations (CFs). An ICD is the equivalent of a seaport located in the hinterland. It receives containers by rail or road from the seaport for examination and clearance by customs and other competent authorities.
Jime said the port has all the loading and unloading equipment needed to handle containers. ICDs/CFSs are expected to perform the following tasks, among others: Bring shipping services to the doorstep of shippers across the country.
Additionally, dry ports help decongest seaports and make them more user-friendly. They provide the impetus to revive and modernize the railway as the main mode of long-distance transport. Dry ports also contribute to overall freight costs to hinterland destinations as well as cargo in transit to landlocked countries.
The Executive Secretary said that the Council has promoted and facilitated the establishment of Inland Container Depots (ICDs) in Nigeria on the basis of public-private partnership (PPP). Jime said that there are seven approved locations for Inland Container Depots (ICDs) / Container Freight Stations (CFSs), which have been licensed to private sector operators by the ICD Implementation Committee of the Federal Ministry of Transport as follows l Jauri, Maiduguri ICNL, Kaduna In addition to the seven official CIMs,
In fact, there have been proposals from the private sector to establish DCIs in Dagbolu in Osun State, Lolo in Kebbi State, Onitsha in Anambra State and Ogwashi-Uku in State. of the Delta. Among others.
Other speakers such as Acting Governor of Kano State, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who represented Governor Abdullahi Umar on the occasion, reiterated the state government’s commitment to providing an enabling environment to support trade opportunities and protect critical transportation infrastructure.
The acting governor maintained that the Kano state government had invested more than 2.5 billion naira in the dry port for the construction of an accessible road network, electricity and other basic infrastructure to attract investors.
He expressed his satisfaction with the declaration of Dry Port as a port of origin and destination which he said would generate employment opportunities for young people teaming up in the state.
Here, the question that must be asked is what have people, especially the inhabitants of Zawaciki where the project was established, been able to benefit from a dry port? How will the common man benefit from a port of origin and destination like Zawaciki in Kumbotso Local Government Area in Kano State? What are the benefits and other challenges that the port will bring to the natives of Zawaciki and surrounding areas who are mainly traders and farmers, how will their lives be after the commissioning of the project by President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming months?
At the time of compiling this article, I realized that there was an astronomical increase in land prices and rents in Zawaciki and surrounding areas, people are rushing to acquire land to build their homes closer to the port. Similarly, many workers wish to move to the region for reasons of proximity.
These are some of the questions raised by people and thankfully the general manager of Dala Inland Dry Port, Alhaji Ahmed Rabiu, has consistently given an answer to these posers and has since allayed the fears of local residents who have traveled to the site for witnessed the historic and momentous occasion while eagerly awaiting to hear from management how it will benefit the port and how life will unfold after the port is fully commissioned
Dala Inland Port General Manager Alhaji Ahmed Rabiu advised the local host community not to panic or be afraid as the port aims to boost their morale by providing relief as most of them will be employed on a paid basis and another window will open for them. and sell their goods and services at the port as well as send their children to school provided by the authorities concerned.
He said that by enrolling their children in school to get a solid basic primary and secondary education, they in turn would gain employment at the port to earn a living and stand firmly on their feet. The MD said food and water vendors are not expected to be left behind while tapping into the huge business opportunities that abound in the port.