Following the signing of a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) on the AMES-Edo Inland Container Dry Port between the Edo State Government and the Atlantique Marine and Engineering Services (AMES), promoters of the project, the firm, on Thursday, met with stakeholders and prospective port users in Edo State to seek improved partnerships ahead of the commencement of operations.
The Managing Director of AMES-Edo Inland Container Dry Port, Engr. Charles Akhigbe, at the stakeholders’ sensitization meeting at the Government House, Benin City, said the port would improve economic activities in the state and create thousands of jobs for Edo people, as well as Nigerians.
Stakeholders at the meeting include Okomu Plc, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Rongtai Industry, ESIPO and Zanithcarex Int’l Limited, among others.
According to Akhigbe, “This is a sensitization meeting to bring all the potential port users in Edo State together under one room, to sensitize them about the AMES-Edo Inland Dry Port and the commencement of operations at the dry port because they are the ones to use the dry port and need to know the stage the dry port is and at what stage to come in and commence operation with us.
“It will be a customs port, and a lot of activities at the Lagos Port will be done here at Edo State, yielding huge resources for the state and the federal government. This is the first phase and other phases will follow for bigger companies, medium-sized companies and small-scale businesses that are all over the state, to start thinking export.”
He further noted: “We need to galvanise our people here in the state to take advantage of putting quality edible products together, as we are blessed with agricultural products in Edo, as the port will enable the exportation of quality, safe food products to Africa and the rest of the world directly from Edo State.
“A lot of Edo businessmen are going through hard times through the Lagos Port. But with the Dry Port, no need to go through the Lagos Port but the Edo Dry Port. We need to make sure that the potential port users are aware of the development.”
Akhigbe said AMES-Edo Dry Port was established to provide a one-stop cargo reception and clearance facility to boost exports from and imports into Edo State particularly, Nigeria’s South-South, South-East and some states in the middle belt region, by by providing proper handling and logistics services.
“Arrangements are ongoing with the relevant authority for a dedicated cargo airplane that will be able to carry a maximum of 60 tonnes using both the Edo and Delta State Airports.
“The Edo State Government is facilitating the Ossiomo-Power to be connected to the Dry Port for 24/7 electricity supply to reduce cost and ensure that end-users and other stakeholders benefit.”