Free Trade Zones

Dala Dry Port and the North’s Economic Boom – By: . .

By Mohammad Garba

Jhe Dala Inland Dry Port (DIDP), which Kano residents had dreamed of for years and had been in the works for 20 years before the arrival of the current administration, will be delivered in the second quarter of this year.

As a clear indication that the project is off to a positive note, the Presidents of the Republic of Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Central Africa expressed their interest in coming to fully sponsor the multi-billion naira signing project when it will take off. And as a prelude to the start of its operations, the administration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje unveiled the theme and logo of an International Summit on the Dry Port which brought together all the citizens of Kano, both at home and those in the diaspora. , friends and lovers of Kano and businessmen and women from all over the world.

The summit discussed this powerful economic catalyst, a transport and logistics vehicle, the 20,000 twenty-two-foot equivalent DIDP, ready to develop Kano’s economy. It is important to us given its importance to the growth of Kano’s economy by creating jobs for all natives and residents, but improving the socio-economic well-being of all citizens.

The interest of the Kano administration was to realize the enormous opportunities presented by the efforts of the government of President Muhammad Buhari and to take appropriate measures to seize them fully.

The DIDP is also in the process of transposing Kano’s status as the commercial center of the Sahelian region of Africa. In the past, it relied on transporting large volumes of goods by camel and was a major national gateway for imports and exports into the country. Kano was at one time the largest contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Virtually all exports out of the country were non-oil products.

It has also been realized that exporters in Kano, which include exporters from neighboring states and countries, including the Republics of Niger and Chad and Northern Cameroons, are suffering incalculable difficulties and losses in the process of receiving their imports. or routing of their exports. The difficulties associated with exorbitant transportation costs have driven so many committed businessmen into bankruptcy.

DIDP is one of the inland container depots approved to be set up in various parts of the country, with a focus on areas without seaports. Its establishment was long overdue due to the economic importance of the state, its strategic position and the strategic link it would provide to the development of trade in northern Nigeria and other South African countries. ‘Where is.

The project, which has had many failures over the years, is a 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent inland dry port for transport and logistics on a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, which was initially conceptualized as based on concessions, where the government had to build, equip and appoint a concessionaire to manage, operate and return the revenues and ultimately return the project to the government for further terms to be considered.

The DIDP has the potential to reduce the cost of doing business in the state, as well as generating millions of dollars in revenue for the state coffer, as it will leverage the role of the state in frontier markets in Nigeria. It is also expected to be a vital part of the launch of the Nigerian government’s Special Economic Zones initiative in the country’s North West geopolitical zone, bring shipping services to the doorstep of shippers across the country, help decongest seaports and make them more user-friendly.

Other projects to complete the reindustrialization program are the ongoing construction of the Kano New Economic City located in the city of Dangwauro along the federal Kano-Zaria highway. The economic city will be of immense benefit to our industries, as international standard warehouses for the storage of finished products, including agricultural and pharmaceutical enterprises, will be constructed.

As the Ganduje administration strives to develop other infrastructure in Kano, the federal government is investing heavily in reviving the Kano Free Trade Zone (KFTZ), Panisau in Ungogo Local Government Area to stimulate industrial activity as a key catalyst for industrialization, where it will involve authorizing, monitoring and regulating the activities of companies operating in the area. The commercial zone also aims to overcome the difficulties and challenges faced by businesses, especially in the areas of infrastructure development, functional equipment, taxation, and high production costs or overhead.

Already, the federal government had signed a 25-megawatt IPP project agreement in February to supply power to KFTZ industries. The project is expected to be completed within 11 months.

Other benefits include helping with overall freight costs to hinterland destinations and transiting goods to landlocked countries, encouraging exports between African countries and growing their economies, as well as as the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

Specifically, for the people of Kano, the concessionaire believes that the project would improve the efficiency of importing and exporting cargoes, because the time it takes for a cargo to leave the Apapa port and hit the road by truck is about six to seven days. From there, it takes about two weeks to get to Kano. This in addition to reducing the suffering suffered by transporters due to poor roads and the risk of displacement and damage.

It is also about giving the impetus needed to relaunch and modernize the railway as the main mode of long-distance transport. There is also the Kano-Maradi railway project which passes through the main commercial center of Kano and passes through other economic hubs of the country including Kazaure, Daura, Katsina Mashi and up to the border town of Jibiya and the city of Maradi in Republic of Niger. Another federal government rail line is the one connecting Kano-Kaduna which will start in July and which is also charged to solve the problem of cargoes and control the volume of human traffic in Kano.

Garba is the Information Commissioner of Kano State