The Nigeria Shippers Council has been allocated 83 hectares of land by the Borno State government to build the proposed Maiduguri dry port.
The approval was given after the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, visited Gov. Kashim Shettima, to inform his of the federal government’s readiness to build the port.
The council had secured the approval of the Federal Ministry of Transport in 2006 to build a dry port in Maiduguri. The project suffered setback due to the Boko Haram insurgency.
Mr. Bello said 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 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.
“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.
“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.
Gov. Shettima said he was elated by the news of the proposed port, especially on the job creation aspect of the benefits.
“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.