The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has signed a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with promoters of the Edo Inland Dry Port, Atlantique Marine Engineering Services, formalising the framework as equity owners for the investment, on behalf of Edo people.
With the agreement, Edo citizens are now part owners of the inland dry port, which provides citizens and Nigerians from all walks of life, opportunity to participate and engage in international trading, commercial import and export activities of both raw and processed agricultural products and solid minerals, among others, while importers can consign their cargo directly to arrive in Edo.
Governor Obaseki, who spoke shortly after signing the document, commended the firm for the progress made on the project.
The governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, Esq., reassured the government’s commitment to attracting investors into the state and providing the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Reassuring the construction of an access road to the project, Obaseki said: “The last time we came for inspection at the project site, we promised that as a state government, we were going to do something about the road.
“I can confirm that the design for the road has been done, and we are in touch with PRESCO Oil Ltd., to finance the construction of the road. Very soon, the contract will be awarded.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AMES-Edo, Dr. Charles Akhigbe, said the Edo Inland Dry Port, which is 70 percent complete, is the first dry port in the South-South region.
Akhigbe noted that the dry port, with a 20,000 TEU facility, was being developed as a private investment with the direct intention to place Edo on the global shipping map.
He added that the primary purpose of the Edo Inland Dry Port was to bring the port activities closer to industries, manufacturers, individual importers and exporters.
“With the gradual realization of the AMES-Edo Inland Dry Port as a port of origin and destination, importers and exporters do not need to go to Lagos, Warri, Koko or Onne anymore.
“This is because you can directly consign your cargo to and from the Edo Dry Port from wherever port abroad you may wish to ship from or to.
“Edo is lucky to be on the ECOWAS international trade route, which commences from Abidjan through Cotonou – Lagos – Ore – Benin and terminates at Lokoja.
“With the state of the arterial logistics hub of the nation, the development of the Edo Inland Dry Port and truck transit park becomes a critical transport Infrastructure that is designed to converge local and international businesses in Edo,” he said.
The CEO also said that as a future Customs port, the Edo Inland Dry Port would operate according to the custom and excise laws facilitating trade and ensuring revenue collection.
“Edo Inland Dry Port, as a terminal operator, would ensure efficient cargo handling, facilities management, provision of cold storage facilities and other handling equipment, to ensure topmost operational and cost efficiency,” he added.