The Oyo state outgoing governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has handed over the vital documents for the 90 hectares of land approved for the construction, to the Federal Government.
Governor Ajimobi handed over the land documents to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi at the Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office in Ibadan, in respect of the land located at Olorisa-Oko village in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State.
While receiving the land document, the Minister noted that the port project was conceived to decongest the Apapa Seaport, ease gridlock on the Apapa expressway and engender massive employment as well as improve the government’s Internally Generated Revenue.
Amaechi however inquired, that while most containers and commercial goods would be transported through the ongoing standard gauge railway to Ibadan, easing the gridlock in Apapa; and boosting employment opportunities in Oyo State, would the State be also prepared for the attendant crazy traffic gridlock that may come with it?
As a result to this development, the Minister urged the incoming administration to develop adjoining roads to the proposed dry port to ease possible gridlock in the state.
“Let me quickly add that the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway on completion will ease the Apapa expressway gridlock in Lagos; my fear is that I don’t know if Oyo State government is ready for the shift of the gridlock to this axis of Ibadan.
“Containers and imported goods will now be transported to Ibadan and the rest of the country through the light rail and this will aggravate commercial activities at the Inland Dry Port end until there is continuation of the rail project toward the Ibadan-Kano corridor.
“So I suggest that the incumbent and the incoming governor work together and open up roads around the Ibadan Inland Dry Port to avoid a transfer of the stress of Apapa expressway to Ibadan,’’ he said.
The Minister commended Ajimobi for helping to realise the dream of the port with the provision of necessary logistics.
Amaechi also congratulated the Governor on the successful completion of his second term in office.
“You are concluding your second term administration with a very strong note of performance and unequal pacesetting, not all governors finish this way.
“Most of your detractors even acknowledge the fact that you have done so much in infrastructural facilities and other areas where you have touched lives.
“History will judge you well. For me, I don’t think of what people talk about me. I only care about how I do what I do.
“You have journeyed well and I congratulate you and your family for your success,’’ he said.
Ajimobi in his response, said that the State would rather experience gridlock of progress in commerce and socio-economic development instead of gridlock of hunger and thuggery.
Ajimobi expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for bringing the project to the state, saying it would impact positively on the socio-economic development of the state.
“Undoubtedly, we believe this project will improve our commerce and transportation. I just listened to the Minister say the gridlock in Lagos might be transferred to Ibadan.
“Let me inform you that we will rather have a gridlock of progress in commerce and socio-economic development than having gridlock of hunger and thuggery,” he said.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari on his efforts toward building a better Nigeria, saying an evidence of this was the construction of the standard gauge railway to ease transport of goods and people across the country.
“This project and ongoing railway project will go a long way in improving the economy and propel personal growth of people as well as businesses in our state.
“We are happy this is happening in our time,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council had indicated that the dry port project would cost $99,665,626.