Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said the Federal Government would soon officially declare the proposed Ondo seaport facility as a deep seaport, to herald the commencement of other processes at the facility.
Sambo, in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Relations, Mr Eric Ojiekwe, gave the indication when he received Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Wednesday.
The minister commended the steps taken so far by the state government to prepare for the Federal Government’s declaration on the port.
After listening to a technical presentation by the consultants to the Ondo State Government, Sambo said the Federal Government would not hesitate to make the Ondo port declaration, pursuant to Section 30 of the Ports Act.
He added that this would be done after all the prerequisites established by the extant laws were met.
“We want to see this port come to life before the end of this administration; having another deep seaport will do a lot of good to the blue economy policy of the Federal Government,” Sambo stated.
On flurry of seaports, Sambo said it was a positive thing as the presence of the Atlantic Ocean, the Rivers Niger and Benue, position Nigeria to harness, explore and export its rich minerals to other countries.
According to the minister, there are only two deep seaports in Nigeria, while all others are river ports, including Apapa and Tin-Can ports.
He said that the development of a deep seaport in Ondo was a welcome development to the country at large.
Earlier, Governor Akeredolu said the visit was to acquaint the Transport Ministry with the state’s vision of developing a deep seaport in Ilaje, Ondo, in accordance with the Federal Government’s module of Public Private Partnership.
Akeredolu said the port would bring enormous socio-economic benefits to the Federal Government, the state and the host communities.
He added that Dubai Port and China Habour were among the many international partners that signalled their interest in developing the port.
Also, The Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, said the Ondo State Government had made a compelling case for the port.
According to Adegoroye, the minister is a seasoned technocrat, having ventured across the board of the Nigerian Ports Authority and the National Inland Waterways, and knows the importance of the Port Ondo project.
He, therefore, assured the Ondo governor that the Transport Ministry would attach priority to the project.
He said the ministry would like to see the Port come to life before the end of the tenure of office. (NAN)