The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and Ondo State Government are currently in talks towards the development of a deep sea port in the state.
The parties have agreed to move forward with the execution of the multi-billion Naira project which is expected to open new opportunities in the economy of the state.
However, the development is coming on the heels of the cancellation of the port master plan consultancy for the $2.6 billion Badagry deep seaport project, thereby making the delivery of the project uncertain.
The port master plan contract according to the Managing Director of the NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman said that was expected to guide the Federal Government in the development of new deep seaports in the country.
Report gathered that Usman is expected to have a preliminary meeting this week with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state on the possibility of exploring a “seamless but due process” and kick-start the construction of the multi-billion Naira project located in Araromi, Ilaje Local Government Area of the State.
A source at the NPA quoted Usman to have stated: “We are committed to this because we are already under pressure to find a lasting solution to the embarrassing gridlock in Apapa, Lagos which has deteriorated following the perennial poor port access roads.
“We are aware that so many efforts have been put by the state governor for there to be a seaport along the coastline of that state and precisely in Araromi where there are a natural trench and deeper draft than the Badagry project which would be more expensive to embark upon because it lacked the required minimum of 16 meter raft in depth.
“I can emphatically say that the technical efforts of the Ondo State government appear to have jump-started the process because we followed up and we are almost convinced that Ondo state has a deeper raft advantage than any other port in the country. So we may have no choice than to look in the direction of Ondo State”.
Report states that the choice of Ondo State was informed by the natural advantages which include its proximity to the South-east and the South-south regions through Okitipupa and Ore