The law maker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency & Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, has appealed to Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, not to lose the Ibadan inland dry port to Ogun State.
Recall that Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had during an inspection visit to the site recently, told Makinde that if the state is not ready, the Federal Government will move the port to Ogun State.
Akande-Sadipe, who was a Special Adviser on Projects and Public-Private Partnership to late Governor Abiola Ajimobi, said that her sweat and the support of her boss secured the state the Ibadan inland dry port.
She also revealed that the project was conceptualized by her during the last administration in the state.
“The idea sprung up on a visit to Lagos to see my mother, the traffic from trucks queuing to get into the Apapa ports led to the brainwave that this could be another economic opportunity for Oyo State, which had an advantage based on its geographical position and the new train line from Lagos. Knowing that this would further stir up the economic revival in our beloved Oyo State. I approached the governor with the idea and he gave his consent to commence the leg work.
“I contacted Mr. Hassan Bello led Shippers Council through Mr. Anifowoshe who was based in the Ibadan office in 2018 and extensive talks about decongesting Lagos by setting up an inland dry port in Oyo began.
“The rationale for Olorisha Oko was based on its location as the point where the first phase of the new train line from Lagos to the North passing through Ibadan would terminate. That way, containers could be shipped by train from Lagos ports to Ibadan and further on with the completion of other stages of the project, as is the case in developed nations. I and my Bureau of Investment Promotions and Project Office team, most especially Mr. Kunle Olusina with the support of our principal, late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, worked tirelessly to make it a reality.
“I put so much effort into making the inland dry port a reality, my sweat and support from Ajimobi secured the Federal Government approval of the project during the administration of koseleri, late Senator Abiola Ajimobi. I therefore appeal to the current PDP-led state government not to play politics with the socio-economic development of Oyo State,” she said.
The lawmaker noted that the inland dry port would generate about 24,000 direct new jobs and also attract new investors, adding that big corporations will want to take advantage of the free trade zone.
“We all know what that will mean to the youths of Oyo State – job creation, both blue and white-collar,” she stated.
Akande-Sadipe also recalled with nostalgia when the Federal Government approved the port for l Oyo State.
The proposed inland dry port is expected to ease the pressure on the Apapa seaport and reduce the perennial gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway as well as make the ardous task of import clearance more accessible to the hitherlands of the South West and the Northern part of the country.
Bello at the time said that the project would have equipment park, truck park, among other facilities, and would occupy 90 hectares of land, which was provided by the Oyo State Government.
Akande-Sadipe expressed worry about losing the project to Ogun State over the delay occasioned by the change in administration. She urged the current administration to do more on infrastructure, especially the roads around facility.
The lawmaker prayed that progress will be made within a short time, stressing that she looks forward to attending the opening ceremony as a proud daughter of Oyo State.