The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, has said that the Federal Government will release a ‘port declaration’ of the proposed Ondo Deep Sea Port to herald the commencement of other processes at the port.
Sambo gave this indication when he received the Ondo State governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, in his office at the ministry headquarters, commended the steps thus taken by the state government to prepare for the port declaration.
After listening to a technical presentation by the consultants to the state government, the minister said once all the prerequisites established by the extant laws are met, the Federal Government will not hesitate to make the Port Ondo Declaration, according to Section 30 of the Ports Act.
“We want to see this port come to life before the end of this administration,” he said, 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 wondered why there is a flurry of seaports in the country, Sambo said it is a positive thing, as the presence of the Atlantic Ocean, the rivers Niger and Benue puts the country on a 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. “The development of the Deep Sea Port in Ondo is a welcome development to the country at large”.
Speaking earlier, the Governor Akeredolu, SAN, said the visit was to acquaint the ministry with the vision of his administration on the development of a deep seaport in Ilaje, Ondo, under the Federal Government’s module of public-private partnership.
Akeredolu, who said the port will bring enormous socio-economic benefits to the Federal Government, the state and the host communities, added that the Dubai Port and China Habour are among the many international partners who have signalled their interest in developing the port.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, said the state government has made a compelling case for the port and thanked Sambo for his support.
According to Adegoroye, Sambo is a seasoned technocrat, having ventured across board the Nigerian Ports Authority and the National Inland Waterways and does not need the conviction of others to know the importance of the Ondo Port project.
Adegoroye, therefore, assured the Ondo governor that the ministry will prioritise the project as he earlier stated that he would like to see the port come to life before the end of his tenure as minister.