The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has asked for the support of host communities and traditional rulers in Ondo State towards the actualisation of the state’s deep seaport project.
Akeredolu revealed that the state government had spent hundreds of millions of naira on the required studies carried out by local and international consultants about the project.
He added the state government was acting towards obtaining a Port Declaration for the seaport from the Federal Government.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ forum relating to the Environmental Site Investment Assessment and Resettlement Action Plan for the project, where he met with traditional rulers and representatives of the community in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Akeredolu assured the stakeholders that the project remained at the top of his list of priorities for the state.
Also present were the Consultants to the project, representatives of the Federal and State Ministry of Environment and Community Based Organisations.
He said, “The deep seaport and the industrial city project will attract massive investment to the state in particular and Nigeria in general. The one singular project that will change this state totally is the port.”
The Ondo State governor declared that building of the port alone would bring about N500bn economic activities to the area where it would be situated.
He said, “This is the most serious business and important project we want to embark on as a government. Every other thing becomes secondary. We have spent millions of naira on the required studies. We don’t have the money but we will set aside as many projects as we can to get this port done so that the quality will meet the standard expected of us by the Federal Government.
“For us to build this Port of Ondo, there are three levels to these efforts. There is the Federal Government level, which the state is managing and we believe that we are making reasonable progress. There is the work to be done level, and we have spent millions of naira on the required studies, bringing in local and international consultants.
“Another effort by this administration is to make sure there is a conducive atmosphere for the consultants to do their work in the affected communities, and that is where our traditional rulers need to come in.”
Akeredolu said the development of a deep seaport project in the state would generate more than N500bn investment to the host communities in Ilaje Local Government Area where the government had proposed to establish the port.
He assured the communities whose property, farmlands and means of livelihood may have been affected by the construction of the seaport of adequate compensation and relocation to comfortable locations.
The Special Adviser Development and Investment and Chief Executive Officer, Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency, Mr Boye Oyewumi, said the port, upon completion, would be a game-changer not just for the state but the country.
He said it was expected that the Outline Business Case, which is the last set of reports for the port declaration would be completed before the end of April.