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FG, NSC launch IDP’s operational manual in Rivers 

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Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

The Federal Ministry of Transportation, in conjunction with Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), has launched Operational Manual for Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) across the country in Port Harcourt.

Addressing the gathering on Tuesday in Port  Harcourt, the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo said establishment of IDPs across the nation will decongest the seaports and bring shipping and port services closer to the importers and exporters, as well as the people.

Represented by Director Inland Transport Services, Mr Matthew Ayarugba, the Minister said apart from bringing services closer to the hinterlands, IDPs will check rural-urban drift.

He also said that establishment of IDPs will generate revenue for the Federal Government and boost the nation’s economy.

Explaining further, he said operational manual covers the following activities in a dry port, container import by rail, export by rail,import by truck, export by truck, customs control and empty container storage.

The Minister therefore commended the efforts of the NSC under the auspices of the Transportation Ministry in launching the Operational Manual for IDPs, noting that it will enable stakeholders be acquainted with the detail operational processes in that subsector.

He equally said that operational manual will serve as a roadmap to the implementation of the Inland Dry Ports scheme.

This,he said aligns with international best practices, urging participants to take advantage of the operational manual to enhance their productivity.

In his address at the event,the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hon Emmanuel Jime said that the IDP project was conceived by the Federal Government as a reform programme in the transport sector to promote efficient transportation and our ports, with a view to facilitating trade.

The Executive Secretary who spoke through Director Inland Transport Services, Mr Philip Eduwa, said the Federal Government granted approval for IDP establishment in six locations across the states in 2006, noting that they will soon be commissioned.

Jime said the project will be executed through Public, Private, Partnership (PPP) initiative of the Federal Government, using the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model.

He said the Operational Manual, having being launched in Kano and Lagos and now in Port Harcourt, will provide detail processes and procedures for activities at the IDPs, stressing that Operators and Regulator must abide by the provisions in the manual.

Jime described the launching of the manual as another milestone in the successful development and operations of the IDP project in Nigeria.

He assured that the NSC will ensure that the upcoming dry ports will avoid the current pitfalls of our seaports.

Stakeholders such as National Shippers’ Association of Nigeria and terminal operators, among others expressed hope that some of the current challenges plaguing the nation’s seaports would be averted by the advent of the Inland Dry Ports.

They thanked the Ministry of Transportation and Nigeria Shippers’ Council for the initiative, promising to comply with the laid down rules that will govern the IDP regime.

Highlight of the event was launching of the Operational Manual led by Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Deputy Commissioner, Udonsi Arua.

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