The Association of Bonded Terminal Operators of Nigeria (ABTON) has appealed to the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi to compel the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to expedite actions by linking the Heipang dry port in Jos , Plateau State with rail lines.
Secretary General of the association, Alhaji Haruna Omolajomo made the plea on Thursday shortly after being decorated with “An Achievers Gold Award “, organized by Nigerian News Time (NNT) in Lagos.
The Jos-based Inland Dry Port also known as Container Freight Station is sponsored by Duncan Group of Companies.
Omolajomo who doubles as the General Manager, Duncan Bonded Terminal , disclosed that construction works of Inland Dry Port (ICD) in Jos has pipped 75% completion but lamented that the project would not achieve it’s full potential without connection to the rail line.
The logistics operator also noted that the ICD when completed would serve as an export base for the middle belt and northern regions of the country respectively and would further boost manufacturing of locally made products .
He therefore called on the promoters of the Jos ICD in collaboration with the Nigerian Shippers Council to create more awareness programmes for people in the region to further complement shipping activities in the region.
The Duncan Terminal GM insisted that the stakeholders in those part of regions may not understand the potentials behind maritime activities saying that the enlightenment programme would serve as a window for them to know the benefit both behind ICD projects.
“The federal government has a lot of role to play as far as the dry port is concern because if the railway lines are not working for about 70% then the establishment of the dry port may not actually succeed “
“Taking containers from Lagos to Jos via the roads would compound problems for the investors and that is why the government needs to step in and collaborate with the promoters of the Jos ICD.
Speaking on the best way to manage the obstacles before the completion of the facility, Omolajomo called on the government through the NRC to be aggressive in the Lagos – Jos and Port Harcourt -Jos railways completion before the take off date of the dry port.
“I am yet to see the sincerity in the NRC on the Jos ICD. To be sincere the NRC should have a maritime schedule that will be achievable to the dry port.
“What I mean to say is that containers that are designated for Jos from Lagos should have a time schedule whereby time would be of essence.