Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has reiterated his administration commitment towards the actualisation of the Ondo Deep Seaport, saying the port will not only serve Nigeria, but the whole of West Africa when developed.
Akeredolu stated this while speaking during the Retreat Programme for Political Office Holders and Accounting Officers in the state, saying many investors have shown interest in the project but noted that the Federal government approval is causing a delay in the take-off of the project.
Akeredolu who frowned over the delay in the port declaration as one of the effects of the contradiction in the country’s federalism said states should be empowered to develop their seaport, provided investors show interest in the project.
He maintained that nothing will stop the actualization of the project, stressing that the project will create massive job opportunities by the time it comes to reality.
He said:” There is a contradiction in our federalism. We have a system where there must be a port declaration by the federal executive council before you proceed.
“I have always wondered; the port is in my state and I have people who are prepared to invest. But the federal government is holding on to the port declaration. I believe that states should be left to determine their deep seaport and the investors.
“For us as a state, we have been at this since our first day in government. We found out that we have the deepest draft in Ondo state.
“Our port, we will go ahead. Nothing will stop it, it is a matter of time. It is a port, not only for Nigeria for West Africa because of its deepest draft.
“How do we finance it? I travelled, I spoke to Dubai port. I spoke to China habour. Dubai port has even written that they are interested.
”Our dream for this port in Ondo State is to serve as a conduit for our goods, agricultural produce and very soon, our bitumen.
”It is the goal of this administration to ensure that the potential of Ondo State is maximised and that all necessary infrastructure required to make this a reality is put in place to achieve this,”
He however, said his administration would pursue the port project relentlessly, especially for the future generation.
”There must be a beginning. We have started and not going back. The goal is clear, we will capitalise and maximise on the coastline which is the deepest in Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, the former Group Managing Director of Access Bank and founder of Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede has commended the leadership style of Akeredolu.
He said the governor has demonstrated enlightened leadership with the manner he continued with some projects and programmes of the past administration.
Aig-Imoukhuede, one of the resource person at the ongoing Retreat for Political Office Holders in the state, while speaking on the topic “Achieving success against all odds (Leaving the Tarmac: Buying a Bank in Africa” noted that Akeredolu has shown commitment and passion for the development of the state.
He commended Akeredolu for his simplicity and transparency in handling government business in the sunshine state.