By G9ija

A Firm Atlantic Marine and Engineering Services Limited (AMES) has announced plans to invest N7 billion in the construction of an inland dry port in Benin City, Edo State.

The planned facility is aimed at serving the South-south, Southeast and parts of the North central region of the country.

The Managing Director, AMES, Charles Akhigbe, who made this known at the weekend, said with the facility, over 5,000 direct jobs opportunities will be created.

The AMES boss explained that the dry port is being designed to hold 20,000 containers- 12, 000 in its phase one and 8, 000 in its phase two; including  providing offices for Customs, quarantine and other agencies.

According to Akhigbe, future shippers and industrialists would have no business going to Lagos as their goods would be transported by their agents through the port.

He said: “One of the advantages why an inland dry port is important is that shippers and industrialists absolutely do not have to come to Lagos any more, the freight forwarders and the shippers, it is their responsibility to bring the containers inland through whatever inter-modal means they choose, maybe by sea, road or rail. We know Edo state does not have a rail link but we know that most containers move by road.’’

But again, there are seaports around us like the Warri port, Koko port which is closer to us.”

According to Akhigbe, 80 percent of the construction had been achieved in the five years’ concession agreement.

Akhigbe said AMES had signed an agreement with Farmers Oasis Resources Limited and Free On Board International Logistics.

He said based on the deal, it would be processing and packaging for export a minimum of 100 tonnes daily.

The Benin Inland dry port project is on a Build Operate and Own basis and is expected to be ready in 2022.