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Lokoja dry port: Shippers Council mobilises stakeholders to fast-track take-off

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Stakeholders in the export value chain in Kogi State have been asked to work collectively towards the early take-off of Harris Logistics Domestic Export Warehouse, which is the Lokoja Dry Port.

At a meeting with critical stakeholders on the Export Value Chain after inspecting the ongoing works at the Harris Logistics Domestic Export Warehouse and Dry Port in Lokoja, the Director-General, Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Mr. Edwin Ignatius said that the advantages of the dry port when operational remain unquantifiable.

He called on the stakeholders to strive towards the early completion of the dry port, pointing out that if operational, it will create employment and other opportunities.

The stakeholders at the NSC meeting included the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kogi Enterprises Development Agency, Shippers Association, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists, Kogi State Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa.

The NSC DG maintained that the dry port in Lokoja, which is among the 12 being built in the country, would assist in cargo consolidation, thereby bringing down the cost of doing business.

He explained that the advantages of the port are enormous, urging all the stakeholders to do everything humanly possible to make it operational.

He urged the relevant stakeholders to make commitment that would make the dry port operational, describing the location of Kogi State as one that has made the Federal Government to locate two ports in Lokoja and Ajaokuta.

Ignatius expressed satisfaction with the quality of work and equipment at the dry port, assuring that the NSC would strive towards ensuring that standard procedures are followed that would ease cost of doing business and early take-off of the Port.

He called for the political will at both the federal and state government levels, as well as those of the other relevant stakeholders in the value chain that will lead to the early take-off of the port.

He lauded Harris Logistics Domestic Export Warehouse for the stage the dry port has attained.

In his remarks, CBN’s Head of Development Finance Officer, Hassan D. Hassan expressed the determination and commitment of the bank to the actualisation of the dry port, reiterating its passion to see to the early take-off of the Port.

Hassan commended Harris Logistics Domestic Export Warehouse for investing in the project with the state-of-the-art equipment, assuring of CBN collaboration.

He called on the relevant stakeholders on the need for more engagement that would ensure the take-off of the port.

The Trade Promotion Adviser, Nigerian Export Promotion Council for Kogi State, Hajia Amina Abdulmalik said having seen some of the noticeable challenges limiting the take-off of the port. She promised to liase with the appropriate authorities that would enable the quick take-off of the port.

The Chairman and CEO of Harris Logistics Domestic Export Warehouse, Mohammed Olufemi said the dry port is at 95 percent completion and almost ready for commissioning, adding that when operational, it would serve exporters within the North-Central region of the country.

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