The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, says the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) will in no distant time make a ‘Port Declaration’ of the proposed Ondo Deep Sea Port to herald commencement of other processes at the port.
The Minister, who gave this indication when he received the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, commended the steps so far taken by the state government to prepare for the port declaration.
After listening to a technical presentation by the Consultants to the Ondo State Government, the Minister said once all the prerequisites established by the extant laws are met, the federal government will not hesitate to make Port Ondo Declaration, pursuant to Section 30 of the Ports Act.
Speaking further, the Minister said: “We want to see this port come to life before the end of this administration”, adding that having another deep sea port will do a lot of good to the blue economy policy of the federal government.
Addressing those who are of the opinion that there’s a flurry of sea ports in the country, Sambo said it is actually a positive thing, as the presence of the Atlantic Ocean, the Rivers Niger and Benue puts the country on a better pedestal to harness, explore and export its rich minerals to other countries.
The Minister stressed that there are only two deep sea ports in Nigeria, while all others are river ports, including Apapa and Tin-Can ports, adding that the development of the Deep Sea Port in Ondo is a welcome development for the country at large.
Speaking earlier, the Governor of Ondo State said the reason for the visit was to acquaint the Transport Ministry with the vision of the State Government on the development of deep seaport in Ilaje area of Ondo in accordance with the federal government’s module of Public Private Partnership.
Akeredolu, who noted that the port will bring enormous socio economic benefits to the Federal Government, the State and the host communities, added Dubai Port, China Habour are among the many international partners who have signaled their interest in developing the port.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, said the Ondo State Government has made a compelling case for the port and thanked the Transport Minister for his support.
According to Adegoroye, the Minister is a seasoned technocrat having been ventured across board the Nigerian Ports Authority and the National Inland Waterways and does not need the conviction of others as to the importance of the Port Ondo project.
Adegoroye therefore assured the Ondo governor that Transport Ministry will attach priority to the project as he himself had earlier stated that he would like to see the Port come to life before the end of tenure as Minister.