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Shippers’ Council seeks legal framework for ICD project

by Business News Report

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, said on Tuesday that lack of a substantive legal framework had delayed the smooth take-off of the Inland Container Depot (ICD) project. Bello said this in Lagos at a meeting with the representatives of the Oyo State Government, the concessionaire of the Ibadan ICD-Catamaran Logistics Ltd., and officials of the NSC.

The meeting revolved around how to overcome impediments against the smooth take-off of the ICD project at Erunmu, near Ibadan, Oyo State. Bello said the representatives of the Oyo State Government, led by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Ismail Alli, came to collaborate with other concessionaires for the quick take off of the ICDs.

He urged them to hasten the Federal Government to gazette the ICD as ports of destination and origin.
The Executive Secretary said the council had done all it could in pushing for the legal framework, adding that the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar had set up an ICD Implementation Committee. Bello explained that the recommendations of the ICD committee had been forwarded by He urged the concessionaire of the Ibadan ICD project to ensure that it put structures in place and build the site to an appreciable level.

“I will like you to pass this message to his Excellency, the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Abiola Ajimobi, that we have pushed far. The gazette is the last bus stop. Immediately we have this done, we are in business. Shippers Council will like nothing better than to see the materialisation of the idea. The economic gains are not in doubt, ‘’ Bello said.

Speaking earlier, Alli said the state government was desirous of bringing in international investors who would revive the moribund infrastructure in the state.

He said the development of the ICD was very essential to this objective.

Alli said the development of the ICD in the state would also boost the efforts of the state in its quest to divert its attention and interest to agriculture.

He said there was an expanse of land which the state government wanted to use for this purpose.
Alli, however, said there was the need to consolidate by erecting structures at the ICD site to draw the attention of the Federal Government.

“The concessionaire should be doing something that is originally intended as a dry port, while the issue of gazette is being addressed. By this, the necessary foundation would have been laid and the necessary infrastructure provided.

“One thing about the Oyo State Government is that we are never hostile to developmental aspirations. Whatever it is that will favour our economy, generate employment, we will support and collaborate with the government. There is no way we can industrialise without putting this facility in place,’’ he said.

The Managing Director of Catamaran Logistics Ltd., Mr Lai Aare, said the company already had structures in place that could make the government declare the ICD a port of destination. According to him, the concessionaire has so far invested N250 million.
He said that since 2006 till date, the concessionaire had continued to invest on the site, including acquisition of computers and other infrastructure for customs purposes. (NAN)

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