The Borno State government has magnanimously allocated 83 hectares of land to the Nigerian Shippers Council for the purpose of the proposed Maiduguri dry port.
It is reported that the governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, gave his approval after he was paid a visit by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, to inform him of the federal government’s readiness to build the port.
Gov. Shettima expressed his happiness with the news of the proposed port, especially with the benefits of job creation.
“If we are serious about addressing the Boko Haram insurgency, we have to fix Borno and rest of the north-east,” he said.
“Borno is to the north-east, what Kano is to the north-west; Borno is to the north-east, what Lagos is to the south-west and what Port Harcourt is to the south-south. It is expectant that if the economy of Lagos boils, the south-west would catch cold. Borno is gateway to export of goods to Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Sudan and Central Africa. Borno has the chunk of the northeast population.
“I am quite glad that the Nigerian Shippers Council is committed to this dry port in Borno because that project is capable of making huge impact in the economy of Borno with multiplier effects on the rest of the northeast.
“We will give the NSC all the support to ensure the success of this project,” Mr. Shettima said.
It is also reported that the project has suffered a major setback due to the Boko Haram insurgency, as the Federal Ministry of Transportation had given the council approval on the project since 2006.
Mr. Bello said, “Containers that are bound for this region of the country are going to be shipped by railway as soon as they arrive Lagos or any port,” he said.
“A port is not meant to be warehouse, it is a place for clearing goods. We don’t have any need of stocking containers in Lagos, we will transport them to Dry Ports as they land from ships. Goods will be cleared here in Maiduguri without the need to go to Lagos or any other port.
He gave the assurdance that the Maiduguri dry port would have all the features of an international port similar to ports in Lagos, Port Harcourt and other parts of the country.
He also said the proposed port, when completed will take care of all import and distribution of goods from Nigeria to countries like Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Sudan and Central Africa.
“The project will create at least 5,000 jobs apart from the economic benefits associated with Ports. There will be Customs, NDLEA, freight handlers, agents of all kinds all in Maiduguri. The benefits are so enormous,” he said.
Written by Okolo Ezinne