• Tony Igele

Inland Container Deport for Edo – Shippers Council

Benin – The Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), said it will establish an Inland Container Deport in Edo to boost freight forwarding in the State.

The council’s Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, made the disclosure during the inspection of the site in Obaretin, near Benin on Wednesday

Bello said that project, being promoted by a private company, Atlantique Marine Engineering Services (AMES), would open up vista of freight services in the state.

He explained that the council being a trade promoter and simulator of the economy, would accelerate the processes that would ensure quick completion of the project and take off of services.

He noted that there was need to respect indigenous investors for their decision to invest in the Nigerian economy, adding that the council was pleased with the development.

Bello said the council would support the project and work harmoniously with the government as well as the Ministry of Transport to ensure its success.

” For us, it is a win-win project as it would boost freight forwarding business and create employment for people”, he said. The scribe said the council would establish an area office in Benin to accelerate the completion of the project.

“We will collaborate with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in this regard.’’

He advised the promoters to ensure that the inland deport was modern, saying the council would not want a repeat of the past mistakes that plagued the sea ports.

The Promoter and Chief Executive of AMES, Mr Charles Akhigbe, said the idea and vision for the port was to re-awaken the consciousness of what the state and region were capable of achieving.

Akhigbe said it was also to open intermediary business chapter that would support the growth of small and medium enterprises. He said the project was not just for the social benefit but to also provide sustainable economy for the country.

He added that the project, which would be in two phases, would see phase one, providing 12, 000 capacity TEUs, while phase two would provide 8,000 TEUs.

He emphasised that the project being a Nigeria project, was open to advice from regulators.

NEPC’s Executive Director, Mr Fred Ileogben, said the ICD was a vision that would further propagate non dependence on oil exploration alone.

He said the council would give necessary advice on who operates in the port so that it would become a one stop shop.

He said the project was coming at the right time the nation was trying to grow her Gross Domestic Product outside oil and expressed optimism on accelerated approval of the project.

Mr Benjamin Ezekwere, President of the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA), said the ICD represented a rallying point for the business community as it would bring shipping much closer to industries, as well as manufacturers.

He said it was strategically located in Edo to serve the state and her neighbours in their non oil export and imports. Ezekwere also said it was a public-private project that would enable importers and exporters take advantage of the agriculture and solid mineral potentials of the State.

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