Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has decried the slow pace of infrastructural provision by the Oyo State government at the site of the Inland Dry Port, IDP, located at Olorise-Oko in the state. This is even as the state govenor, Seyi Makinde, assured that all the encumbrances responsible for the delay would be tackled, stressing that the state government has already spent N10 billon on the construction of a link road between Moniya and Iseyin.
The minister made his displeasure known when he, companied by officials of the ministry, the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC and the Nigerian Railways, paid working visit to the governor over the weekend. Amaechi said that President Mohammadu Buhari is desirous of a speedy completion of the project which he hopes to commission next month. According to the minister, “There are issues, and I wonder why these issues still exist, this is the second time I am visiting this house over this IDP, the former Governor gave us a Certificate of Occupancy, now I am hearing that the present government is giving us problems, they are denying us entry into the place”
“We should be grateful that the Oyo State Government is ready to invest because the Federal Government has instructed us that there must be Nigerian investors in that project, we do not want to give the Chinese alone, at the end of the day, there would be profit and Nigerians should be able to make profits out of it. Thank God the Oyo State has decided to take some percentage, we would discuss with the Chinese and ICRC, and we are calling on more private investors to get involved”
Amaechi informed the governor that President Buhari would be commissioning the Moniya Terminal of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line by June 2021. Advising the governor, he said “If you don’t want pressure in your city and the Apapa gridlock to be transferred here, you have to start preparing now because in June, the President would commission Lagos Ibadan rail line, and if this is done, it is our intention to begin to move cargoes on that rail line. Cargoes going to Port Harcourt, Kano may end up in Ibadan. There are benefits, accommodation, businesses and other economic activities would take place just like we have them in Lagos. It is good you construct that link road between Moniya to Ibadan Oyo Road.”
Makinde also said that the state government was already planning on constructing an industrial park around the site of the IDP project. We felt that irrespective of who is in government at the moment, it is better for the state government to have a skin in the game, so Oyo State is pushing to have 15% equity in the dry port and industrial park, we believe that this would help the project in the future. “Most of the challenges mentioned, there is none that cannot be resolved. We have completely reconstructed the Moniya to Iseyin Road and it costs this government N10billion. The link road between the IDP and Moniya already exists, but for us, the whole area the inland dry port, the rail terminal should be a new business district, so we are thinking of a very solid infrastructure that could enable us handle the challenges coming from Apapa very well”
If it is not going to fit into the plan of the inland dry port, we can always look at other areas to execute the same plan. We believe that we having equity is better for the project because, further down the line, if there are challenges, you can have it quickly resolved because of the government participation. You have my commitment and the state government that we would do everything to make this project come to reality and the contractors to move to site as quickly as possible” he assured.