The Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) is to collaborate with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to make Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) bankable and be attractive to more concessionaires.
The Acting Director-General of ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah, said this in a publication of the Council entitled “The Shipper’’, made available to newsmen in Lagos on Monday.
The Tide source reports that there are six (6) approved locations for the Inland Container Depots (ICDs) / Container Freight Stations (CFSs), which had been concessioned to private sector operators by the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
The six ICDs are: Isiala Ngwa in Aba, Erunmu in Ibadan, Heipang in Jos, Zawachiki in Kano, Zamfarawa, in Funtua and Jauri in Maiduguri.
Izuwah said that if the IDP was bankable, it would attract the right level of financing from lenders and make them viable.
He said that both the council and the Federal Ministry of Transportation were determined to make the IDP project successful.
According to him, IDPs are included in the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan because the fastest way to increase such capacity in any country is to build dry ports.
“The IDPs will build industries around them because it is about transport and those area they are located will develop and grow our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The government is working very hard. We have to face the reality, building a rail is expensive and takes time.
“The existing narrow gauge lines transverse our country very well and government is in the process of concessioning that narrow gauge lines to General Electric to provide freight services.,’’ he said.
According to him, presently many of the IDPs are located near the rail lines, so it is just to put a siding.
“The ones in Isiala Ngwa, Kaduna and Jos are near the rail and the next thing is to provide people who can operate the system,’’ he said.
Izuwah, who said that many people had good intentions, added that they were not able to appreciate what they needed to do in terms of preparation to develop the IDP project.
He said that the feasibility studies for the licensed IDPs were not properly done, stressing that there was no proper due diligence in terms of the promoters.
According to him, for one to have a dry port, one needs to have good connectivity between the ports and the IDPs.
“In Malaysia and in the Far East, they use IDPs in a standard process. The only thing they do at the ports is vessel handling.
“They do not clear goods at the ports, the container will just leave the vessel on the land and the vessel will go away and they move the containers to the IDPs.
“It is at the IDPs that the owner of the consignments will do Customs formalities and clear the goods.
“Also the Inland Dry Ports are points of origin and destination,” Izuwah said.
According to him, some of the processes required for establishing IDPs were not done properly; that was why the ICRC wanted to work with the Shippers’ Council to plug those gaps and make them bankable.
The Tide source reports that the NSC is saddled with the establishment of Inland Container Depots (ICDs) or IDPs under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative in the country.
NOSDRA Blames Drop In Gas Export On Vandalism
The drop in Nigeria’s gas export by as much as five million standard cubic meters per day (MMSCM/d) has been blamed on the activities of vandals operating in Azikoro community of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that the drop was sequel to an explosion which occurred at the 24 Ogboinbiri and OB-OB gas pipeline, the gas export feed to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant.
The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Idris Musa, confirmed the pipeline blast to newsmen, last Wednesday.
He said that the blast was reported to the agency in the early hours of Tuesday, noting that the damaged facility normally evacuates an average of five MMSCM/d.
Musa said following the notification, a team of officials comprising the Secretary of Azikoro community, the Bayelsa commissioner for Mineral Resources and representatives of NOSDRA visited the incident site early Wednesday.
He said that the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), the operator of the facility, was promptly notified of the incident.
“Due to the high pressure, NAOC was directed by NOSDRA to depressurize the facility preparatory for a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) which will follow immediately to ascertain the cause and extent of the incident.
“NAOC is already at the incident site, with the agency among other stakeholders working to contain the explosion and secure the incident site preparatory to JIV and other remedial measures,” Musa said.
He said that NOSDRA would conduct the investigations in a transparent manner, and pledged that its findings would be made public in due course.
Meanwhile, officials of NAOC declined comments when contacted for reaction.
Some of the residents near the incident site said that they heard sound of explosions on Tuesday morning in the area.
They also alleged that some small batteries and wires suspected to be used by the vandals to detonate improvised explosive device were found in the area.
The gas pipeline was vandalised three times in April, 2022.
ANLCA Seeks N200bn Compensation From Bank Over Demurrage
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has called for the payment of over N200 billion compensation on demurrage and storage charges incurred by customs brokers and freight forwarders as a result of Guarantee Trust Bank’s suspension over alleged non-remittance of import duty collected on behalf of the Federal Government .
The foremost customs brokers association insisted that its members have lost about N200 billion in the line of duty.
Speaking in Lagos recently on behalf of the association, the National Secretary of ANLCA, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila, expressed dissatisfaction over the slow responses by management of GTB on the suspension with Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Mukaila noted that the association was aware that NCS gave GTBank two weeks notice to resolve their challenges.
The scribe said despite the marching order from the NCS, GTB has not resolved the issue or made alternative arrangement for the interest of their clients.
The ANLCA chieftain said its members won’t bear the cost of demurrage incurred, while insisting that they won’t let go of the losses.
He recalled that in the past, some banks have had similar problems, but quickly appointed a receiver bank pending the resolution of the matter.
Speaking with representatives from GTBank in Lagos, Mukaila stressed that the approach of the Gtbank amounts to negligence on their.
“Where there is negligence, someone or group suffers the detriment and as such in every detriment there must be compensation.
He reiterated that the aims and objectives of the association is to protect its members, while asking the bank officials how they intend to mitigate the losses.
Other members of the association in attendance also took turn to condemn the bank’s attitude and concluded that there will be no stand down on demand for adequate compensation.
In his response, the representative of GTbank, Lanre Kola-Banjo, apologised to the customs brokers, explaining that the problem was a result of technical fault from the server.
He however debunked that they were given two weeks notice.
Contrarily, he said, “we woke up one morning only to discover that we had been disconnected”.
Meanwhile, he said they have contacted their customers who were directly involved, apologised and explained the circumstance to them.
He further explained that it was after they had been suspended from accessing the NCS portal that they were given 2 weeks to fix the technical problem or face serious sanction.
According to him,”the problem has been resolved since the 9th September”.
He promised to take ANLCA’s demands to the top management of the bank for further action.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
BOT Registration: ANLCA Acquires CAC Certificate
As further confirmation of recognition, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has issued fresh certificate recognising Dr. Taiwo Afolabi and Chief Ozo Chukwura as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Registered Board of Trustees (BOT), Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) .
The certificate issued recently with registration number 6754, also listed Onyenaechi Offor, Emmanuel Azodo, Eniola Igbaroo, Ayokunle Abel, Aliyu Isa, Shamsudeen Awopeju and Christian Igwe as members.
Chairman of SIFAX Group and proprietor of Marriot Hotel, Lagos, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, was elected the Chairman of the BOT of ANLCA.
Afolabi was chosen by other BoT members in Lagos last year.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
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