Nigeria stands to earn more revenue from cargoes worth N146 billion as land-locked countries can now import and export their transit cargoes at the Kaduna Inland Container Deport (KICD). This follows the approval of Form-M granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to KICD.
Niger and Chad has been importing three million of cargoes valued at N146 billion yearly through Nigerian ports before the country lost the trade to Togo, Benin and Ghana. The new N5 billion facilities Kaduna is capable of handling 29,000 tons of containers.
The dry port was licensed by the Federal Government to handle import cargoes from Lagos and Tincan Island ports, through the railway.
It was learnt that the dry port has been listed on the Form-M electronic platform of CBN.
The Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) has also installed Nigerian Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS 2) platform and granted (Documentary Control) D001 to the port.
Also, the Federal Ministry of Transportation has notified International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA) about the establishment of the dry port.
Following the CBN’s approval, the concessionaire of the dry port, Inland Containers Nigeria Limited (ICNL), explained that the port operators and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council had held a stakeholders’ engagement forum to discuss the modalities for dry port operations with importers, exporters, shipping companies, freight forwarding agents and other operators, to facilitate the smooth take-off of the port.
Before the latest decision by CBN, Niger and Nigeria had struck a bilateral trade agreement to return to Nigerian ports through the efforts of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC).
It was gathered that Niger shippers left Nigerian ports for over 10 years when the cost of shipping became unbearable.
Since 2006, this newspaper gathered that over three million metric tons of Chad and Niger’s cargoes, which were formerly handled by Nigeria were taken away and shared among Togo, Benin and Ghana ports yearly due to high charges, dwell time, corruption, extortion, congestion levy and poor infrastructure.
It was gathered that more than 30 million tons of Chad and Niger Republic’s cargoes had been lost by Nigerian ports to neighbouring ports within the last 12 years.
Niger was shipping about 1.5 million metric tons of its cargo from Benin Republic, 1.5 million metric tons in Togo and close to a million metric tons in Ghana, culminating to a loss of N1.46 trillion between 2006 and 2016.
However, in 2016, Niger and Nigeria struck a bilateral trade agreement to return to Nigerian ports through the efforts of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC).
The Executive Secretary of the council, Mr. Hassan Bello, explained in Lagos that he was not comfortable with the way Niger Republic would go all the way to Cote d’ Ivoire and Ghana to transit its cargoes when Nigeria was closer to the land-locked country.
Meanwhile, ICNL has expressed fears over the inability of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to move containerised cargoes from Lagos Port to the dry port.
Currently, the company depends on road transportation to move some of its containers to the dry port.
However, ICNL Managing Director, Mr. Yusuf Ismail, explained that freight cost of containers to the dry port by road from Lagos to Kaduna had affected its business.
He noted that besides the ocean freight, port terminal charges, and cargo handling charges, freight cost by road had risen by 100 per cent, making the dry port uncompetitive.
Yusuf recalled that the purpose of establishing the Inland Container Depot (ICD) was to make the cost of transportation cheaper for the users of the port.
Source: New Telegraph