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Concessionaire Seeks Over $20m Intervention Fund to Complete Funtua Inland Dry Port

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Concessionaire Seeks Over $20m Intervention Fund to Complete Funtua Inland Dry Port

The Concessionaire of Funtua Inland Dry Port (FID) on Thursday said over 20 million dollars intervention fund would be needed to get the port operational within a year.

Mr Usman Iya-Abbas, the Managing Director of Equatorial Marine Oil
and Gas Company Limited disclosed this during the inspection of the port
with the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in Katsina.

According to him, the port was concession to the company since 2006 and has made remarkable progress in terms of development.

He, however, said that the devaluation of naira against dollar over
the years affected the progress and the total cost to get it
operational.

Iya-Abbas said that the initial cost of the project was put at about
three billion dollars, but with the current exchange rate it was more
than that.

“Initially, when the project started the feasibility study that was
done, then, the entire budget was three billion dollars but as it is
today, the devaluation of Naira over the years,

“The cost has really gone up beyond what it was initially estimated;
before Naira was 170 to dollar, but today we know how much Naira is to
dollar.

“If you do that, you will realise that the prices has really gone up
and that is why we are approaching ECOWAS Bank for Investment and
Development located in Lome.

“They have come to inspect and to see the possibility of extending
the facilities for the operations. We are looking at facilities between
20 and 50 million dollars.

“It depends on what type of intervention they can make, based on
their assessment, we are hoping that after the exercise they can give us
between 15 to 20 million dollars,“ he said.

He, however, said that once they get the intervention within six to a year the dry port would commence operation.

“NSC has being very supportive to facilitate the work, the state
government has being very cooperative; they have added some
infrastructure to the port.

“They have also constructed the access road to the terminal and land acquisition.

“ Developing a port involves huge capital, cost from the purchase of
equipment, to the infrastructure; we have spent a lot and we are ready
to spend more.

“Initially, we had other investors like Golf Engineering Company in
Germany; they indicated interest initially, with other local investors
including the Chinese, and so we are hopeful.

“If we are able to get the financing between six months to a year, we
will start operation because as it is now, the basic infrastructure has
being laid, what is left is the trailer parks and ICT infrastructure.

However, the Director, North East Zone, NSC, Mrs Karimatu Othman said
that the Funtua dry port was one of the port that shippers council
oversee.

She said that the inspection was carried out to check the progress of
work so far, stating that the major challenge limiting the progress was
funds.

According to her, the concessionaire is in discussion with other
international investors to get the funds needed for the project.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Funtua dry port is one
of the seven Inland Dry Port approved by the Federal Government to be
established under Public Private Partnership.

Others are located at IsialaNgwa in Aba, Erunmu in Ibadan, Heipang in
Jos, Zawachiki in Kano, Zamfarawa in Funtua, Jauri in Maiduguri and
ICNL in Kaduna. (NAN)

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