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The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello has hinted that Ibadan, the Oyo State capital may end up being blessed with two inland dry ports: one by the Catamaran group and The second by Chinese investors.

The Executive Secretary indicated this, even as the Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi stressed that the Federal Government will ensure strict adherence to due process, in the construction of the Ibadan Inland Dry Ports.

Speaking in his office, Hassan Bello expressed satisfaction that the development which is likely to encourage healthy competition between the two dry ports operators would also, certainly provide alternative vibrant ports for the business class.

He disclosed that while the Catamaran group were assiduously working on their dream, the Chinese investors decided on establishing a 40,000 TEU dry port in Ibadan, in line with Prescient Muhammadu Buhari’s dream of opening up new windows of business opportunities and diversifying the economy.

He praised the people of Erunmu for their sincerity and collaborative spirit, noting that the people ever since their land was designated as reserved for dry port, they had stopped farming on the land.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has pledged, during an inspection tour of the dry port site located at Olorisa-Oko village in Moniya area of Ibadan, that full adherence to due diligence would be observed.

Accompanied by the NSC Executive Secretary, Hassan Bello, the minister and his entourage were received by the Oyo State Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Adeyemo.

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“Commencement of work on the project might be experiencing delay presently because government was mindful of following due process in the concessioning of the project,’’ Amaechi said, adding that government would not act on the project under pressure, but would ensure that all necessary documentations were concluded according to law.

Amaechi who promised that work would commence on the site as soon as the necessary procedures and documentations were concluded, posited that the project, when completed, would, among others, create employment, boost the economy of the state, expand the city, decongest the sea port and ease traffic congestion.

Mr Yinka Fatoki, the Executive Secretary of Oyo State Bureau of Investment Promotion (BIP), said the expectation of the state government was to ensure the realisation of the project at the earliest possible time.

Bello, while briefing the minister and the representatives of the state government, said the proposed dry port would be constructed based on Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

The NSC boss said that apart from other benefits, the project was expected to create 3,000 direct jobs on completion.

Bello had on Nov. 6, 2018 during a courtesy call on Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, said that the new 20,000 tonnes capacity Ibadan dry port would be developed in three phases at a total cost of $134 million.

Bello, accompanied by representatives of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and representatives of CRCC China-Africa Construction Limited, had presented an Outline Business Case Compliance Certificate (OBC) of the project.

He had stated that the project would be constructed at Olorisa-Oko, the terminal end of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Standard gauge railway line, saying this would open up Oyo and adjoining states for export.

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According to him, the need to develop port in the hinterland is more demanding now than in 2007 when the Federal Executive Council approved the concession of six Inland Container Depots across the country.

‘‘President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s policy objectives to diversify the economy is another reason to bring shipping services to the door steps of shippers in the hinterlands,’’ he said.

Source: MaritimeFirst Newspaper