By Roland Ekama
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council has entered into partnership with the Oyo State Government for the development of an Inland Dry Port and Truck Transit Park (TTP) in conjunction with some Chinese investors in the state.
The partnership arrangement was unfolded when the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, paid a courtesy visit to the Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, at the Governor’s Office in Ibadan.
In a statement made available over the weekend, Bello said that collaborating with the state government on the establishment of a dry port would positively impact on Nigeria’s economy, stressing that Oyo State was critical to the development of transportation in view of its strategic location.
According to him, since 2006, the federal government had taken a decision to establish inland dry ports in the six geo-political zones of the country of which Oyo State is one.
Describing transportation as a driving force in the national economy, Bello said the establishment of a dry port and a TTP in the state would provide job opportunities and create wealth for the state.
Bello also said the ongoing rail project being championed by the Ministry of Transportation would be a big boost to the IDPs as it would help decongest the heavy traffic on the roads as well as facilitate easy movement of goods from Lagos ports to different locations in the country.
He disclosed that the proposed TTP alone would gulp N4.8 billion through public private partnership (PPP) arrangement. The facilities, he added, will include a shopping mall, hotels, worship centres, commercial banks and restaurants, among others.
Bello explained that the idea of TTP was to have a secured and convenient resting place for truck drivers while moving goods from one location to another.
He recalled that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed recently with Chinese investors for the development of Ibadan Dry Port project, adding that the interest shown by the investors was in consideration of the strategic importance of Ibadan.
Bello therefore solicited the support of the Oyo State government through allocation of land for the development of the Truck Transit Park.
In his remarks, Governor Abiola Ajimobi who was impressed by the two concepts, assured the Council of the support of his administration and called on it to hasten the paper works required for the project to begin.
He said that there was no reason the state should not have started the project much earlier, considering the geographical and human capital advantages Oyo State has over other states.
The governor said that the project would engender considerable reduction in road carnage, improve economic activities and create job opportunities.
He therefore called for a committee to be set up between the two partners for a successful and speedy implementation of the project.