Contrary to insinuations in some quarters that the Ondo Deep Seaport project was a political ruse, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has explained that the Federal Government was the cause of the delay in the take off of the project despite its huge economic benefits.
Akeredolu said his administration was committed to the actualisation of the port project, which was initiated in his first term, saying the port would not only serve Nigeria but also the whole of West Africa when developed.
Some members of opposition parties had alleged that the seaport project was a political propaganda by the governor and ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to get a second term.
But Akeredolu, while speaking during the ongoing retreat for political office holders and accounting officers in the state in Owo, affirmed that nothing would stop the actaulisation of the multi-billion-naira project.
He disclosed that many investors had shown interest in the project, noting that getting the Federal Government’s approval was delaying its take off.
The governor, who frowned on the delay, saying it was one of the contradictions in the country’s federalism, added that states should be empowered to develop their sea port provided investors show interest in the project.
He stressed that the Ondo Sea Port project would create massive job opportunities by the time it comes to reality.He added: “There is contradiction in our federalism. We have a system where there must be a port declaration by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) 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 sea port and the investors. For us as a state, we have been at this since our first day in government.”
He explained further: “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 but also for the West Africa because of its deepest draft.
“How do we finance it? I traveled; I spoke to Dubai Port. I spoke to China Harbour. 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.”