The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and its potential investors would require nothing less than N43.2 billion to build nine truck transit parks (TTP) in nine strategic locations across the country.
By estimation, it would cost the sum of N4.8 billion each to developed one world-class TTP in nine states including Ore in Ondo State; Onitsha in Anambra State; Lokoja in Kogi State; Port Novo Creek in Lagos; Ogere in Ogun; Obollo-Afor in Enugu State; Jebba in Niger, Mararaban- Jos etc.
Hassan Bello, executive secretary of NSC, who said that the TTP would take trucks out of the highway because parking indiscriminately on the roads means high cost of transportation due to delay in delivery of goods to the owners, added that the Council wants interested investors and lenders to come and invest in the project.
Bello said the park would have spaces for trucks, cars and luxury buses, and it would have modern facilities including hotels, hostels, showers, recreational facilities, shops, quality restaurants, gas stations, fire stations, clinics and modern mechanic garages etc. “One park would have capacity to accommodate 1500 trucks.”
The NSC boss stated that the parks must be operated electronically such that trucks lifting cargo from the ports would have chips on them to monitor their activities and ensure that transit trucks make use of the parks because NSC would be partnering investors to build the park under public private partnership and the investors must recoup their investment.
Speaking in Lagos on Thursday at a breakfast meeting themed: “Financing Transport Infrastructure, Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) and Truck Transit Parks (TTPs),” organised by the NSC, Chibuike Amaechi, minister of transportation, said that the infrastructural opportunities in Nigeria, makes the nation’s economy an investment haven, as Nigeria holds lucrative investment potential for investors especially in the area of developing infrastructure.
The Minister, who said that Nigerian economy is the market in Africa, noted that inefficiency at the ports has made ports in neigbouring countries of Cotonou and Ghana, attractive destinations for Nigerian billed cargo.
“The Federal Government has approved the construction of six IDPs and we will ensure that they become port of origin and destinations to enable them operate effectively like other seaports across the globe,” Amaechi assured investors.
On the financing options available for the TTO and IDP projects, Oscar Onyema, chief executive officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), who suggested that government can make use of public private partnership or full privatisation to attract private funding into the proposed projects, said that the Exchange is committed to developing innovative ways to finance the nation’s transport infrastructure in order to accelerate the growth of key sectors of the economy.
“Leveraging established PPP funding mechanisms can utilize the NSE platform to gain access to low-cost and long-term capital, which can be achieved through issuance of public bonds by a project company or incorporating a separate company to issue bonds and lend the proceeds to the project company,” Onyema advised.
Stating that the investment prospect for Nigeria’s transportation infrastructure is very promising, Onyema said that if the recently exposed draft rules by PENCOM are issued, that it would allow for up to 20 percent of accumulated pension assets to be invested in infrastructure compared to the current 5 percent.