By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Government has said its proposed Seaport, when completed, would not only decongest the Apapa Port but also attract investors, as well as, improve the socio-economic prospect of the citizenry.
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun gave the assurance during a dialogue with the Fujairah Terminals’ team, led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Engr. AbdulAziz Al Balooshi, at the Governor’s Conference Room, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, saying the establishment of the Ports in the State became imperative due to its proximity to Lagos.
Represented by his deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Prince Abiodun disclosed that the choice of setting up an Inland Port at Itori, in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the State was because of its closeness to two major cement factories, hinting that the State Government was working closely with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Shipper’s Council on how to turn the location into a multi-model facility.
“The port is one of the legacy projects we are looking at in this administration, to be able to do something that will impact the lives of our people, boost the economy in the area and improve the socio-economic prospect of the citizens of the State.
“Meanwhile, Olokola as a Free Trade Zone, was conceived in 2004 and licensed was issued in 2007, but for some reasons, the lofty plans created then had not seen the light of the day. Our government is interested in revisiting the Olokola project and make something worthwhile out of it”, he said.
Abiodun disclosed that the State government has come up with a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Bill to ensure ease of doing business for intending investors, adding that an Investment Promotion Agency would be set up, so as to enable investors have access to vital information.
In his response, Engr. Al Balooshi, noted that his organisation was impressed with the move to establish a dry port in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the State, saying, ‘’having held series of meetings with experts, visit various sites and seeing the reports on the possibilities of partnering with the State Government, we are ready to ensure success of the investment’’.
Earlier, delegates from related Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, led by the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya and his counterpart from Special Duties, Barr. Femi Ogunbanwo, took the Fujairah Terminals Team on a tour of the proposed inland port.