Sifax Group has gone into an agreement with the government of The Gambia to build and run a dry port in Banjul, the nation’s capital. The agreement was signed by Sifax Group Group managing director, John Jenkins and former Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) managing director, Abdoulie Tambedou in Banjul.
A dry port sometimes referred to as an inland port, is an inland intermodal terminal which is directly connected to a seaport by road or rail. It operates as a centre for the transhipment of sea cargo to further inland destinations.
The main objective of building this dry port is to decongest the port of Banjul. In 2017, the GPA said that the volume of cargo being handled at the country’s seaport has currently experienced an upsurge, which is more than the projected annual average growth. They attributed the boost to a renewed confidence in the local market, a high number of transit cargos as well as newcomers. This dry port will also help the GPA handle the growth in the volume of cargo its currently handling as the Port of Banjul is equipped with only two berths and the facilities there need urgent capacity improvements.
Sifax Group’s contingency who were present at the agreement signing ceremony included the group executive vice-chairman, Dr Taiwo Afolabi and general manager, business development and strategic planning, Mr Saheed Lasisi. After the ceremony, they went into a meeting with the Gambian president, Mr Adama Barrow. In the meeting, they discussed other sectors of the country’s economy in which the company could make investments.
In a statement signed by the corporate affairs manager of Sifax Group, Muyiwa Akande and made available to journalists, Dr Afolabi thanked the president for giving the company this investment opportunity in the country. He stated the company’s commitment to build and run a top-notch inland container terminal and invest extensively in the country’s economy to bring the country to par with her counterparts in Africa and beyond.
On his own part, President Barrow commended the company’s contingency and showed appreciation on behalf of his country. He went on to appeal to other interested investors to follow in the footsteps of Sifax Group and invest in The Gambia to enable the country’s growth. He said his government is focused on providing an environment where investments will succeed.
Sifax Group, which began operations as Sifax Nigeria Limited in 1988, started as a freight forwarding agency in Lagos, Nigeria. The multinational corporation also has a diverse investment portfolio in maritime, aviation, haulage, logistics, oil and gas and hospitality, among others, with operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ghana, South Africa, Holland, Belgium, Morocco, Spain and Djibouti.