Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has declared that his administration would not allow the oil-rich Tongeji Island that shares boundary with the Republic of Benin, to be taken away by Nigeria’s neighbouring country.
Abiodun said his administration was determined to do all in its power to make life meaningful for the citizens of the state living within the Island located in Ipokia Local Government Area (LGA) of the state,
Abiodun who made this known at the weekend when he received the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Ambassador Emmanuel Kayode Oguntuase, and the Flag Officer Commanding Western Region (FOC), Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, noted that the Island had been on his administration’s radar because of its huge deposit of petroleum resources.
According to him, the Island is of huge interest to his administration.
Abiodun said the visit of the ambassador would only make his administration to act even quicker and ensure that the Republic of Benin that shares boundary with the state does not take advantage of the Island.
He added that state government would set up a team to visit the Island soon on a fact-finding mission and to find out what could be done to assure the people of the area that they have not been forgotten.
The governor further disclosed that his administration had informed the Federal Ministry of Petroleum that the Island was of huge interest to the state government, adding that his government had also began discussions with investors on the way forward.
“Tongeji Island is a place where we do have valuable reserves and I had mentioned to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum that the Island and Ogun Waterside are areas of interest to the state government and we have commenced discussions with others to explore partnership agreements under a Public Private Partnership to see what we can do in terms of prospecting the opportunities that lay beneath the soil in Tongeji Island and Ogun Waterside,” he explained.
He said his administration would fast-track the process to see other services that could be rendered to the people of the area, pledging to take the issue up with the National Boundary Commission (NBC).
The governor said he would also engage the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission (DAWN) and involve Lagos and Oyo State governors that also share border towns with the Republic of Benin.
He lauded Daji for ensuring that the water ways were free and devoid of anarchy, and urged him not to hesitate to bring to his notice, issues that are germane to the security of the region.
In his remark, Oguntuase disclosed that his visit to the state governor was to intimate him on happenings in the area as the closet to the Island, adding that it was important to let the over 1,000 inhabitants of the Island to feel government’s presence, as the Republic of Benin was presently trying hard to lure the people and take over the Island because of the huge petroleum resources embedded beneath the ground.