Enugu To Get Inland Container Dry Port | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Enugu To Get Inland Container Dry Port

Posted: Jun 15, 2016 at 6:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

 Emmanuel Nzomiwu

ENUGU – Enugu State has been designated to host an inland dry port under an integrated infrastructure development between Nigeria and Korea Republic.

Dr Stephen Dike, principal consultant to the Korean and Nigerian partners working on integrated infrastructure backbone for Nigeria, disclosed this when a team of the partners visited Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in Enugu, the state capital, on Tuesday.

The team included high powered teams from the Integrated Infrastructure Backbone for Nigeria and Hyundai Engineering of Korea.

Making a presentation before Governor Ugwuanyi, Dike said talks with the Federal Government on their ambitious project have progressed to an advanced stage.

Dike said Enugu State has been designated as the Centre Point for the regional integration of the economic development of the South East under the planned national framework.

“It is a special purpose company established to initiate the integrated infrastructure development project for Nigeria and the whole idea is to create economic development catalyst that would ensure that we have an integrated infrastructure backbone that would go from Akwa Ibom deep sea port all the way to Katsina.

“We also have another one at Bayelsa which would now join the backbone from Akwa Ibom to Katsina at Enugu. Our whole idea is to make Enugu/ Obollo Afor Centre Point of integrated infrastructure development plan for the whole South-East region.

“Along this backbone, we are going to have five dimensions of infrastructure development. That would include: power grid, fibber cables, high-speed rail road, dual carriage high and finally, it would include the gas pipeline (70 inch diameter gas pipeline.

“The whole idea is that economic development in Nigeria can only go as fast as infrastructure development would go. Infrastructure development in Nigeria has not been strategic and integrated. The highest cost of infrastructure development are  the cost of security and the cost of right of wealth.

“We are looking at other developed countries like Shanghai, Japan, Singapore et cetera and we are trying to emulate the successes of those at best practices in order to bring it to infrastructure development in Nigeria,” Dike said.

On the strategic role of Enugu State in the whole project, he also explained: “Our partnership with Enugu State Government is that the infrastructural backbone is going to pass through the state. Obollo Afor is the centre point for the backbone because we are going to have an inland container port at Obollo Afor.

“Obollo Afor also is going to be the centre point for the inter-connector project that would go to other areas. For instance, the one coming from Bayelsa is going to connect at Obollo Afor. So the strategic relationship with Enugu State Government is that it is going to be the centre point for the South-East region,” Dike said.

Responding, Governor Ugwuanyi thanked his visitors for the good comments they made about the success of the “Oganiru” Investment Summit and assured that “Enugu State is open to business.”

“Your visit today actually goes to confirm that the Summit made the required impact and is therefore yielding the desired results. It is in that spirit therefore that I do warmly welcome the team from Hyundai Engineering and those from Integrated Infrastructure Backbone for Nigeria.

“We are certainly interested in hearing your proposals for investment in Enugu State and you can always count on our cooperation and partnership,”, he told the investors.

Others who came for the special presentation before the governor included, Mr Hon Byung Chul, the General Manager, Overseas Investments, Mr Jang Hosung, Manager, Overseas Investments, Mr Cha Ki Young of Alpos which are Consultants to Hyundai Engineering and Mr. Justin Okafor, President, Nigeria Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Japan.

It could be recalled that the designation of the busy border-town, Obollo-Afor for a proposed inland container/dry port was initiated by Governor Ugwuanyi during his tenure as the Chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Marine Transport.