A Spanish firm, Ocean Infrastructure Management (OIM) and its Nigerian partner, Franchise and Business Solutions Limited (FBS) will on Thursday hold a high level interaction with Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu in Akure over the Ondo Deep Seaport project.
The meeting with the Governor will also witness the presentation and adoption of the Project Implementation Plan for the Deep Seaport spelling out milestones and timelines for the completion of the multibillion dollars project.
Consultant to Ondo State Government on the Deep Seaport Project, Amiable Consultancy and Logistics Services Limited, said in Lagos weekend that the project has continued to enjoy the interests of international investors from various parts of the world.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive of Amiable Consultancy and Logistics Services, Ms. Aina Egharevba, said the deep seaport, being championed by Governor Akeredolu, would open up the economy of Ondo State and create job opportunities for up to 20,000 people in the coastal areas of the state.
Egharevba, who is a former Executive Director, Marine and Operations of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), said some key milestones, including the preparation of the port feasibility study; conducting preliminary surveys such as the bathymetric/hydrographic survey and geotechnical survey; soil resistivity test, Met-Ocean studies; and topographic survey for the deep seaport have been successfully achieved.
She said the feasibility study and conceptual master plan for the new port have been approved by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Egharevba said the visiting Spanish team will also carry out a review of key project issues and establishing common understanding of the project objectives with officials of the Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ODIPA).
“After this meeting, we will be moving to the next crucial stage, which is the development of the Outline Business Case (OBC) and Final Business Case (FBC) for this all important project. We are committed to working with officials of the Ondo State Government to realize the full vision of the Governor for the deep seaport,” she said.
Speaking earlier this year after accompanying President Muhammadu Buhari on an investment drive trip to The Netherlands, the Ondo State Governor had said that the Ondo Deep Seaport project is an investment in the future of the state.
“We are doing things for the generation to come. I have always believed that there should be a beginning. We have started; there is no going back.
“I was privileged to travel with President Buhari to The Netherlands. We went on a boat and visited the ports. I told him, if anything like this must happen in Nigeria, it must be in Ondo State. Not only that, the President has said it most of the times that he knows that Ondo is the right place for a deep-sea port.
“We should not play politics with everything. It is not our making but providence has put us where we are today. Where we are today, is the best place to have a deep-sea port.
“Ours, as a state, is to prepare the ground and show the feasibility and bankability. Can Ondo State do it? No, Ondo State cannot build or own a port. But there are many people who are willing to invest.
“The Chinese, Dutch, and others are interested because this will be a West African port; not just for the country. It is not that we are looking for money to build a port but we are looking for investors and they will invest here,” the Governor had said in Akure during the presentation of the report of the consultants to the State Executive Council and stakeholders of the coastal communities early this year.