Succour is on the way for Ondo State as the government declares that the deep seaport project would attract over N500billion investments to the host communities in Ilaje Local Government Area, when completed. Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum, said the deep seaport would generate more than N500billion new investments, which will buoy the economies of the host communities.
Speaking on the Environmental Site Investment Assessment (ESIA), and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the project, where he met with traditional rulers and representatives of the community in Akure, Akeredolu assured that the project remains at the top of his list of priorities for the state.
While soliciting the support of the host communities and traditional rulers towards the actualization of the project, he said the State Government had spent hundreds of millions of naira on the required studies carried out by local and international consultants. He added that the government is working towards obtaining a port declaration from the Federal Government, saying: “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. Building of the port alone will bring about N500billion economic activities to that area.
“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,” he said.
Akeredolu assured affected communities whose property, farmlands and means of livelihood would be affected by the construction of the seaport of adequate compensation and relocation to comfortable sites, which is why the government places premium on the processes and procedures of the ESIA and resettlement plan.
Special Adviser, Development and Investment and Chief Executive Officer, Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), Boye Oyewumi, said the port, upon completion, would be a game changer not just for the State but the country. He said it is expected that the Outline Business Case (OBC), which is the last set of reports for the port declaration would be completed before the end of April.
The various traditional rulers present at the meeting, including the Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, and the Chairman, Ondo State Council of Obas, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, assured government of total support and cooperation of the Ilaje community in ensuring the realisation of the port project in view of its benefits to the state.
The site of the proposed Port of Ondo, which also has an industrial city with a Free Trade Zone status, measures 2,771.2 hectares. The site is accessible from Ore through a new dual carriageway, which will be constructed from Araromi to Lekki in Lagos and when completed it will take only 45 minutes from the port to Lagos.