We need investors to develop Olokola Free Trade Zone- Ogun governor, Abiodun
By News Desk
The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has declared the state government’s readiness to discuss with any interested investor willing to invest in Olokola Free Trade Zone, saying, this project is a big national asset that should not be allowed to die.
While noting that his administration wished to develop the Trade Zone, Abiodun stated that the government will adopt all strategies to ensure that the project comes into realisation.
The Governor, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, stated these when he received the management team of National Inland Waterways Agency [NIWA], who paid him a courtesy call in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Abiodun said the State Government was looking at how to review and make use of the available facilities in the Free Trade Zone, adding that to improve on multi-modal transport infrastructure in the State, Government would collaborate with the NIWA in exploring the opportunities inherent in waterway transportation.
He said that the present administration was already weighing its options on enhancing rail and waterway transportation as a prerequisite to reducing the pressure on the roads.
“The pressure on our roads today has become a thing of worry to all. We welcome you to our dear State and we appreciate the dire need for us as an entity to collaborate on enhancing waterways development as an alternative means of commuting people and goods to other parts of the State safely.
“As a Gateway State, we pride ourselves as the entry point to the Country and as a result of this, we are poised to create viable partnerships with our stakeholders that would be meaningful, and by extension, bring succour to the people of the State,” he added.
Speaking on the full operationalisation of a Jetty at Iwopin in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of the State, facilitated by NIWA, Governor Abiodun said Government was delighted with the project, maintaining that there was need for the agency to assist in classifying the mode of commuting before the project finally takes off.
“On waterways passage, we want NIWA to come up with the modalities that would improve commercial interaction within the host community and even beyond,” he maintained.
He called on NIWA to assist in opening up some of the inaccessible waterways by dredging them for easy navigation, as well as carry out the hydrological survey of the waterway transportat system for the overall benefit of the citizenry.
Intimating the host on the essence of the visit, the Chief Executive Officer of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, explained that the visit to Ogun State was part of NIWA leadership to acquaint itself with the operations of the Area Offices in the country and the office in Abeokuta, especially.
He added that the visit has afforded the NIWA leadership to interact with stakeholders, explore other areas of likely collaboration and above all to intimate the Governor on their presence in the State.
Moghalu noted that there was an urgent need to shift emphasis to waterways development as a means of transporting both cargo and people. He explained that the agency was responsible for the opening up and maintenance of over 10,000km of waterways in the Country.
Speaking on waterway initiatives in the State, the Managing Director revealed that the Iwopin Jetty which would soon become operational, would aid the movement of both cargo and people at landing and takeoff points, just as it would reduce passenger traffic amongst others.
“We are set to engage the Ogun State Government in this direction that would ultimately open up the State for increased commercial activities using the waterways,” he stated.
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