The people of Edo State are earnestly preparing to receive President Mohammadu Buhari come December 2018 for the inauguration of the the first Inland Container Dry (ICD) Port in the South-South located in Benin City, Edo State.
Managing Director/CEO, Atlantique Marine Engineering Services (AMES), the initiators of the project, Dr Charles Akhigbe who made this known in a telephone interview with Ebony Herald reporter in Lagos, said one of the major aim of the project is to decongest Apapa ports and create jobs for the unemployed youths in the South-South.
Speaking on the various levels of the project, Akhigbe said after some government agencies inspection, he is putting few finishing touches to some areas and having series of meeting with potential investors and stakeholders. He said we are expecting President Buhari to commission the ICD in December this year.
According to him, “we are expecting the relevant Federal Government agencies to fast track the process as ordered by the Vice President at the ERGP workshop in April/ May in view of the dry port project four star score status at the last ERGP workshop in Abuja” he said .
The VP ordered that all bottleneck must be removed and such projects commissioned in other to simulate economy growth, create jobs and add to national development”.
The Federal Ministries of Transport and Finance officials were also on ground to review work done so far on the project site.
Dr. Akhigbe further explained that the essence of the inspection, the assessment visit was at the instance of the ICRC Abuja to conclude work on the issuance of an outline business case certificate to AMES and also enable other process to continue ahead of the issuance of a Full business case certificate.
Stating that this would enable for the submission of a report to the Minister of Transport on the state of readiness of the ICD to commence receiving containers as an import and export dry Port. Adding that once in operations, the ICD will help decongest the current Lagos traffic being experienced by Apapa residents as truckers return empty containers back to Lagos port.
He added that not less than 15, 000 direct and indirect jobs for the unemployed youths and as well as a one-stop shop for import and export activities in the state and the South-South zone will be created