Akure – Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Thursday, said that his administration would speed up the deep sea port project to improve the economy of the state, the country and the entire West African sub-region.
Akeredolu made this known in Akure during the presentation of the implementation plan of the port, made by the project’s consortium, comprising a Spanish firm, Ocean Infrastructure Management (OIM) and its Nigerian partner, Franchise and Business Solutions Limited (FBS).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presentation was witnessed by officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority and coordinated by the consultant to Ondo State government on the project, Amiable Consultancy and Logistics Services Limited.
The governor explained that the time frame for the development of the implementation plan could be drastically reduced to hasten the actualisation process of the port.
According to him, the report of the feasibility study of the proposed ‘Port of Ondo’ has shown that it is economically-viable, as it has the deepest natural draught with the longest coastline in the West African sub-region, with the capacity to harbour any ship in the world.
“Port of Ondo will be less than 45 minutes to Lagos by road and by water, it will be shorter. With the location, Ondo will become a nerve centre.
“Citing the port here is one of the best things that will happen to not just Ondo, but Nigeria. We have done so many things, and now we are moving ahead.
“We believe that it is something we need to achieve within six months and that is why I said the timeline is so important.
“We are not ready to waste any time. We are ready to give all the support. We are very serious about this port.
“Look at the draft; it is not found in any other place in Nigeria. We keep dredging when we have a natural dredge in Ondo State. I’m told that mother ship can berth in Port Ondo. Let us look at the report. Let’s focus on the viability of the port,” the governor stressed.
Earlier, Mr Boye Oyewumi, Chief Executive Officer, Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), said that the adoption of the outline business case (OBC) would kick-start the processes.
“This will lead the to the ‘Certificate of No Objection’ by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) before the Federal Government, through the Federal Executive Council (FEC), will give the port licence to Ondo State,” he said.
Also, Mrs Aina Egharevba, Managing Director, Amiable Consultancy and Logistics Services Limited, assured that the project was on course and that no one doubted its viability.
Similarly, Mr Ekong Etim of FBS, said the consortium were working hard to ensure that all approving authorities like the Federal Ministry of Transport, NPA and ICRC supported the project to become reality.
Mr Ricardo Sanz of OIM expressed appreciation to Akeredolu for giving the firm the opportunity to turn around the maritime business in Nigeria and Africa through the project.
The NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Usman, described the proposed port as hugely viable and that it would revolutionise the martine sector in the country.
Represented by Mrs Elizabeth Awuletey, she assured that NPA would support the actualisation of the project for the benefit of the state and the country.