Makinde, Amaechi to resolve issues delaying take-off of Ibadan Inland Dry Port
...as Oyo pushes for 15% equity holding in project
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amechi and Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State at the weekend agreed to resolve all issues delaying the take-off of Ibadan Inland Dry Port (IDP).
The two officials, who met in Ibadan, also jointly inspected the location of the dry port and the Moniya terminal of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line, said the port would bring great economic benefits to Nigerians and reduce the congestion being experienced at the Apapa Ports, in Lagos.
Amaechi, who led a delegation including officials of his ministry and the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) to Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, was told by Governor Makinde that the state government would want the dry port to start operation almost immediately; assuring that his administration would do everything necessary to resolve all bottlenecks.
The governor promised to further reinforce the synergy between Oyo State and the Federal Government over the project. He said he was aware of most of the issues affecting the take-off of the project and gave the commitment that all issues would be amicably resolved.
On infrastructure around the dry port corridor, Makinde said that his government had completely reconstructed the Moniya – Iseyin road, which links the IDP.
“We are thinking of a very solid infrastructure that will ensure that the headache at Apapa in Lagos doesn’t happen here. We will be able to handle it very well and plan ahead; that is the scheme and scope of infrastructure we are thinking about.
“For us, the whole area, the IDP, the rail corridor and the few acquisitions that will be done around that place; we think that should be our new world, a new business district for us.
“If what we are putting in place is not going to fit into the plan of the inland dry port, we can always look at other areas for us to execute the same plan.”
On the plan by the state to have equity holding in the project, Makinde stated that it was to strengthen the operations of the port.
He said: “We feel that irrespective of who is in government, it’s better for the state to play a part in the project. So Oyo State is pushing to have 15 percent equity in the dry port and industrial park, we believe that will help the project in the future.
“We think that model is actually good for the Federal Government and the project promoters as well.
“Because, further down the line, when there are challenges, such challenges can be quickly resolved if the state government is participating in the project.”
Amaechi, while speaking said that the Federal Government plans to inaugurate the Lagos/Ibadan rail project in June.
Amechi said his visit to Ibadan was to intimate the governor on issues as regards the early commencement of the IDP project.
The minister, who said Ibadan had been selected for the project before the Buhari administration came into power, said that the present Federal Government wanted to start the project and complete it before the end of its tenure in 2023.
He, however, noted that the Federal Government was having issues in securing the 90 hectares of land granted by the state government for the project, saying that only 40 hectares of land have been released.
He said his ministry had complained to the state government because the preferred bidders needed to do construction design but was impossible because the entire land for the project hasn’t been secured.
He further stated that “part of the regulations is that when state government secured land for the Federal Government for IDP project, the state government will provide infrastructure.”
He, therefore, implored the state government; as part of the infrastructure, to construct link road that will link the IDP with Ibadan-Oyo road.
On the 15 percent equity requested by the Oyo state government, the minister said the government has “to pay money for equity participation in the project.
“If Oyo State wants 15 percent equity in the project, then it has to contribute,” he said.
He, however, clarified that the donation of land for the project and provision of infrastructure, such as roads and others, cannot be converted to equity.