The Ondo State Government has taken a major step towards actualising the dream of establishing a seaport in the state with the presentation of the Outline Business Case (OBC) by the firm handling the project.
OBC is one of the critical requirements preceding port declaration and showcases the project as a multipurpose Deep Sea Port.
The Governor of the State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, while receiving the OBC, expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation by his administration at establishing a port in Ondo,
He added that the confidence of the consulting firm on the viability of the project was a pointer to its eventual success.
The governor said the avalanche of resources the state is blessed with, within its riverine communities coupled with the fact that the state has the longest coastline in Nigeria, would make the proposed port the hub for the West Africa sub-region.
“This port is very important to me, to the people of the state, Nigeria and indeed West Africa. We are going to pursue this dream with vigour,” he said.
Describing lack of continuity and abandonment of projects by successive administrations as the greatest problem retarding the development of most states in Nigeria, Akeredolu said if the vision of the Olusegun Agagu’s administration on establishing a seaport for Ondo State had been kept alive by the immediate past administration, Ondo State would by now become a critical player in the maritime sector.
Earlier, the Head of the Consulting Firm, OIM-FBS Consortium, Mr. Ekong Etim, said the OBC is essentially a confirmation of the governor’s vision that the port is a productive business; worthy of venturing into by both the Public and Private Ownership structure it is designed for.
“We are happy that our report confirms that the governor’s vision is viable. It’s viability has been carefully assessed technically, legally, financially, and economically, ”he said.
Etim said the OBC has been submitted to the NPA for onward processing through the Federal Ministry of Transportation and will subsequently receive the attention of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, for the issuance of Certificate of Compliance, adding that at the Procurement stage which is the final, prospective investors would be invited to form a consortium to finance the deep seaport project.
Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on Development and Investment/Chief Executive Officer, Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), Boye Oyewumi, said: “In two years, we have been to places where people have not been in 14 to 16 years, that is no mean feat.”