By Abba Anwar
After over twenty years of neglect and deliberate suffocation, by previous administrations before the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari and also before the coming of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state, on board, Dala Inland Dry Port finally sees light at the end of the tunnel, as the gigantic project was declared as a Port of Origin and Final Destination, today, Friday 5th August 2022.
With the recent declaration of the Port in the heart of the ancient city of Kano, in Zawachiki, Kumbotso local government, as a Port of Origin and Port of Final Destination of cargoes across the globe by the federal government through Minister of Transportation, Engineer Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, the Port now becomes a centre of attraction for both national and international investors.
When operating at the Port finally takes off, after official commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari, probably in less than three months coming, the Port becomes accessible and ready to the rest of the world, particularly with this all-embracing declaration by the federal government.
As rightly pointed out by the Minister, “With today’s declaration as Port of Origin and Port of Destination, the Port becomes accessible and is ready to receive national and international investors, shippers, shipping companies, sea users, landlocked countries, national and international communities.”
In his words, Engineer Sambo officially declared that “…I hereby declare Dala Inland Dry Port as a Port of Origin and Final Destination.” The declaration was followed by a standing ovation!
Nigerian Railway Corporation already put in place a railroad directly into the Dry Port, which will facilitate easy access and delivery of Containers coming from Sea Ports and moving out of other Containers for exporting purposes.
After some years of neglect, the Concession Agreement was then signed on 26th May 2006, as revealed by the Managing Director of Dala Inland Dry Port, Ahmed Rabi’u. Another major effort came on board in the last two years when the Nigerian Shippers Council requested the state government under Governor Ganduje for some Corporate Social Responsibility projects to support and fast track the completion of the project which suffered many years of neglect.
Governor Ganduje’s positive and hasty response to the request helped much in fast-tracking the process. Kano state government spent Two Billion Five Hundred Million Naira (N2.5b) and executed dual access road to the Dry Port of over 2km, perimeter fencing, electricity and water.
During the declaration ceremony the Acting Governor, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, reading from the text prepared for Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, said “Kano is the commercial and investment nerve centre of Northern Nigeria and the largest non-oil and gas economy in the country, with a GDP of approximately Twelve Billion US Dollars ($12b).”
The text reads thus, “…the state has one of the largest markets for commercial activities in the country, such as Kantin Kwari market, for fabrics, Kasuwar Singer market, for essential commodities, Abubakar Rimi market, for general supplies, Kofar Ruwa market, for building materials, Dawanau International Grain market, for grains and the new Multi-Billion Naira Kano Economic City, which will soon be commissioned. These markets have Billions of Naira daily turnover.”
Not only that, those put in place to man the project are highly experienced business-oriented people to effectively drive the multi-billion Naira infrastructure.
Like the Chairman Board of Directors of the Dry Port, Abubakar Sahabo Bawuro, has been a very successful businessman, whose track records in many private organisations moved those organisations to greater heights.
The Managing Director of the Dry Port, Ahmed Rabi’u was also another business icon, whose track record cuts across many organisations also, with positive results in all the places he worked.
The most interesting part of it is, their resolve to employ modern technology in running the Dry Port. As highlighted by Bawuro in his remarks, “Our resolution as a Board right from inception was to develop a Port worthy of respect and to be premised on a good foundation that would see it function as an efficient Digital and Regulatory Compliant Port, that would minimize contact between Cargo and man.”
Rabi’u, being the Managing Director, who knows in and out of the entire project, disclosed, in appreciation, that, “Alhaji Abubakar Sahabo Bawuro with his City Green Enterprises did very well in supporting the project. We must appreciate this unrelenting commitment by Bawuro, for sinking alot of money to the development of this project.”
Already Nigerien government sent a very powerful delegation from the Republic to attend the Declaration ceremony. Apart from other neighbouring countries who already indicated their interest to patronize the Port.
To make it clear that the Port comes to stay and has the support of all stakeholders, the Declaration ceremony was attended by the Nigerian Shippers Council, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Railway Corporation, members of the business community, like the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Consultants PPP, JUSTICIA and GARBACH, among other stakeholders.
And indeed, His Highness the Emir of Kano, who was represented by Ahmed Ado Bayero, who is the Sarkin Dawakin Tsakar Gida and Chief of Staff to the Emirate Council, also blessed the occasion.
Among prospective benefits that could be derived from this all-important project are, it will promote the handling, storage, regulatory, warehousing, accessibility and distribution of goods and it will take shipping services to the doorsteps of Shippers and businesses.
The project will also reduce, overwhelmingly, the cost of transportation from Sea Ports to the hinterland and to landlocked nations, neighbouring Kano states. It will pave way for more business opportunities. This will checkmate crimes and criminalities, for peace and tranquillity to thrive in the state and nation as a whole.
Anwar is Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State