The Federal Government has declared three inland container depots (ICDs) as ‘ports of destination. It was part of the efforts to open up the hinterland and facilitate movement of import and export of cargo at the nation’s ports.
The three dry ports were among the six ICDs government approved to develop under Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) arrangement with Nigerian Shippers Council as the supervising agency.
They are equivalent of seaports or airport which can receive goods directly from their point of origin . The goods can also be examined and released by the Nigeria Customs Service at the inland deports since they have been declared ports of destination by the Federal Government. They will also be equipped with all the cargo handling equipment needed to handle containers and general cargoes.
Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, who flagged-off the ICDs in Abuja, over the weekend, said the move was part of government’s efforts to ensure improvement in cargo delivery to and fro the hinterland, decongest the seaports, open up the hinterland and help speed up the development of the affected locations.
The affected ICDs are located at Isiala Ngwa in Aba Abia State, Ibadan in Oyo State and Kano in Kano state.
While Eastgate Inland Container Terminal Limited operates the ICD at Isiala Ngwa, those of Ibadan and Kano, respectively, have Catamaran Logistics Limited and Dala Inland Dry Port Limited.
Umar said that the three ICDs have a combined capacity of 120,000 (TEUs) of containers, broken down into 50,000 TEUs each for Isiala Ngwa and Ibadan and 20,000 TEUs for Kano.
The minister added that the other three ICDs, which will not enjoy the port of destination status now are Jos ICD with 20,000 TEUs and perated by Duncan Maritime Services; Funtua Container Freight Station with 10,000 TEUs and operated by Equitorial Marine Limited; and Maiduguri Container Freight Station also with 10,000 TEUs capacity and operated by Migfo Nigeria Limited.
Umar however explained that more ICDs are expected to be built under the same arrangements, adding that the scheme was open to investors’ participation.
The Federal Executive Council, on March 15, 2006, approved the Inland Container Depot project at six locations in the country under Build, Own, Operate and Transfer system.
It was gazetted in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 30 volume 94 of May 21, 2007.
ICDs are dry ports equipped to handle and, temporarily, store containerised cargoes and empty cargoes. This means that the hinterland customers can benefit from port services more conveniently.
The Government declared them as port of destination to attract local and foreign investors to the projects and to ensure their early completion.