The Federal Government is committed to the successful implementation of all Dry Port projects to achieve the desired benefits, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said.
Amaechi gave the assurance during a visit to the Dry Port Project site in Heipang, Jos, Plateau State on Friday.
He said government was fully ready to cooperate and collaborate with the major stakeholders in identifying the challenges and properly resolve them.
The minister said that the Heipang Dry Port project was conceived to facilitate efficient cargo delivery to the hinterland, provide access to port services, stimulate economic development and boost export of agricultural commodities.
He said that the project, when completed, had the multiplier effect of providing employment opportunities and increasing revenue generation for Plateau State.
According to him, the visit is to physically inspect and evaluate the level of development of the project and to further solicit the state government’s support for the project.
Amaechi said: “You may wish to recall that the Heipang-Jos Dry Port Project was among the six gazetted projects granted approval by the Federal Executive Council in 2006.
“The 20,000 TEU facility was concessioned to Duncan Maritime Services being the proponent with the most responsive bid.
“I am happy to note that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission have worked together to fashion out a new agreement, which, when signed, will provide pragmatic and achievable milestone.”
The minister explained that the development of the facilities across the country was based on a tripartite arrangement involving the Federal Government, host state government and a private investor.
Amaechi said that the state government under the arrangement was to provide land, basic amenities, facilitate all necessary building permits, constitute an implementation committee, equity participation and other measures to ensure the success of the project.
According to him, the concessionaire is to ensure development and operation of the facility under the supervision of the ministry represented by the NSC as stipulated in the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer Agreement.
Ameachi thanked the Plateau government for its commitment to the project, urging all stakeholders to cooperate and ensure the speedy take-off of the project in June.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello, said the economic importance of the project was to reduce the cost of transportation and replicate the Lagos economy in Plateau State.
Hassan said there would be a lot of incidental issues like warehousing and factories, adding that the dry Port would be an asset to the airport.
He, however, urged all stakeholders to cooperate to ensure the success of the project and deliver its economic benefits to the state.
According to him, the state needed to achieve progress with the restoration of peace.