THE Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nasir El-Rufai and the Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi have stormed the city of Kaduna to inspect some facilities at the Kaduna Inland Dry Port, the first Dry Port in Nigeria.
Governor Rufai during the inspection tour, admitted that the project was inherited from the past administration and the current government is doing everything possible to make it work. He said: “We inherited this project from the previous administration and we thought it was a worthwhile project worthy of support, and this is why we did everything we could to make sure it works.”
Rufai promised that the government will do the needful to ensure that the infrastructure that is required to make it a reality is done. He said “we inherited PDP contractors, some of the quality is not what we want but I want to assure you all that we are going to fix it, adding that “the road will be reconstructed with concrete pavement”
“We have also realized that we don’t want to replicate the problem of Apapa port because it only has one exit and one entry, so we will have an alternative to that, we want to make this work because this is all about jobs.
He lamented that 85 per cent of the population of Kaduna State youth are unemployed and appealed to the contractors to make the best use of the facility, adding that the Kaduna State government will be a partner and will direct all the companies the state government is attracting to Kaduna to use this facilities.
According to him: “My only appeal to you is to please use local people. Don’t import people from other states because Kaduna has talents. We have young people here and we expect you to give preference to them.”
While bemoaning the state of Nigeria as the only country in the world that lift less than 25 percent of its total freight traffic through the rail system, Rufai said “it’s a disgrace”.
He commended the Minister of Transport, Amaechi, saying, “he has put his energy as a minister into the project and I’m sure we will be where we should be which is at least 22 percent of the the frieght traffic should be on the rail system soon, and once that happens, Kaduna Junction, which used to be the centre of rail transportation in Nigeria, will come alive.
Amaechi, speaking earlier, remarked that “the current administration with this project is doing everything possible to create jobs” and promised that the rail line will start running before the end of this year. He added that “Once we get our rail system operating and moving lots of our frieght traffic then we will experience economic boost”.
Also speaking, Secretary, Nigeria Shipper’s Council, Mr Alhassan Bello, He said that we have come on a supervision tour to ensure that everything is working in the right order, adding that “we don’t want to repeat the mistake we did at the sea port”.