FG unveils Funtua Inland Dry Port, Expects Significant Benefits For Users

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Funtua Inland Dry Port in Katsina State.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume (third from left) and the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola flanked by other dignitaries during the inauguration of the Funtua Inland Dry Port in Katsina State.

In a bid to diversify and expand the country’s economic base beyond oil exports, aligning with President Bola Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda, the Federal Government has inaugurated the Funtua Inland Dry Port in Katsina State. It is hailed as a Sub-Saharan Hub for agricultural commodities and solid minerals.

President Tinubu, who oversaw the project’s commissioning, organised by the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy in partnership with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, expressed confidence that importers and exporters in Nigeria will reap significant benefits from this inland dry port project.

The president, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, emphasised that establishing inland dry ports across the country will not only generate employment opportunities for the youth but also ease congestion at seaports, boost government revenue and bring shipping and port services closer to traders in the hinterlands.

The president highlighted the global prominence of inland dry ports, especially with the rise of containerisation and exporters in inland cities and neighboring countries like Niger, Chad, Northern Cameroon and Central Africa.

He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to prioritising the completion and utilisation of more dry port projects in the country, essential infrastructure for seamless operations. The Funtua Inland Dry Port, the third completed among the six legacy projects spread across the nation’s six geopolitical zones, is integral to promoting export businesses, achieving trade balance, reducing costs and enhancing the ease of doing business.

The president urged national and international maritime practitioners, shippers, shipping companies, landlocked countries and port users to leverage the inland dry ports for imports and exports. He called on the public, host communities and the state to safeguard the Funtua Inland Dry Port as a national asset.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Oyetola Adegboyega, highlighted that the Inland Dry Port initiative is part of the Federal Government’s ports reform programme, aiming to be located at selected sites nationwide. The Funtua Inland Dry Port in Katsina State, one of the approved ports, was concessioned to Messrs Equatorial Marine Oil and Gas Limited at 80 per cent completion stage.

Efforts are underway to decongest and modernise ports, with a focus on rehabilitation and optimisation projects estimated at around USD 1billion. Collaboration with the ministries of transportation and works is ongoing to enhance port efficiency and improve access roads.

The choice of Katsina State for the Funtua Inland Dry Port was based on its agricultural prowess, being a major producer of cotton, sorghum, sugarcane, cereals, legumes and hosting numerous manufacturing industries. The port is expected to unlock Nigeria’s economic potential and facilitate trade with landlocked countries like Niger and Chad Republic.

The minister emphasised that the Funtua Inland Dry Port will operate as a customs port in compliance with relevant laws, providing hinterland traders access to shipping and port services, supporting trade agreements and economic integration initiatives.

Gov. Dikko Radda of Katsina State acknowledged the state government’s contributions, including providing land for the swift establishment of the Funtua Inland Dry Port, foreseeing its significant impact on the state and the nation as a whole.

Oluchi Okorafor
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