By Saheed Ibrahim
The gubernatorial candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the October 10, 2020 election in Ondo state and the former President, Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce, Prince Dapo Adelegan has called for the creation of a Cargo City in Ore to serve as a catalyst for the state development.
Ore as a cargo city, he said, will become a base with custom – bonded warehouses where industries, manufacturers, importers and others will package their goods for onward distribution to other regions in the country.
Prince Adelegan, who stated this in a chat during his visit to Owena Press Limited, Publisher of The Hope Newspaper, said Ore is at the centre of the economic flow of trade from the Southwest to the Southeast, Southsouth and the North in Nigeria.
He explained that cities that are in Ore’s position in the world such as Egypt, Singapore and Chicago don’t even have natural resources and have become rich.
His words: “If you take the traffic of goods from Lagos, which is the biggest generator of economic activities to the South-South, Southeast, Ore is the only town they pass through and these goods are estimated at about N10 billion worth of goods on weekly basis.
“Now, imagine if Ore becomes a cargo city with warehouses, industries, importers and manufacturers will put their goods in those custom-bonded warehouses and the customers in the South-South, South-East will come and pick.
“Those 24 hours or 48 hours of exchange will generate between five to10 percent of the N10billion economic value for Ondo State, ” he said.
While appreciating the industrial revolution of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in Ore and the state at large, Adelegan added that Ondo state has the potential to become the richest state in the country, but the state must take the advantage of its location for economic development.
“If you are going straight, you go to Benin, to the East. if you turn left through Ondo, Akure, Owo, Ikare, you’re going to the North. So, Ore is the only location in Nigeria where goods can be warehoused and distributed to the North and the East.
“So, currently, the government must be commended for the industrial hub but the next step is to make Ore a cargo city.
He said this will immediately put attention on Ore, facilitates investors to the Deep Seaport ” just like Lekki Deep Seaport had been on the table for 25 years, they didn’t have investors but the day Dangote Refinery went there, the Chinese brought N300 billion dollar investment,” he added.
He noted further that: “There’s even a power plant at Omotoso. So, if we have bonded warehouses, within two years and we can supply gas to those bonded warehouses, many industrialists will take one line of their manufacturing in Lagos and put it there because it is cheaper to produce for the South-South, South-East and the North from Ore rather than taking goods from Lagos to Shagamu.
“So, virtually all the manufacturers can be easily convinced to bring warehouses and to create a city. Now, what makes Shagamu an industrial hub is the gas pipeline that comes from Escravos, it passes through Ore and brings gas because gas is the greatest element of industrialization and so, the gas that makes Shagamu an industrial hub has gone to Ibese, Ota, Agbara, Apapa, Ikeja and passes through Ondo state.
Adelegan equally suggested that the state could establish a conference exhibition center along the Akure, Owo and Ikare axis that can host ICAN, NBA conferences.
While highlighting that the strategy could bring economic fortune to its 4.6million people, Prince Adelegan, said “one of the strategies is that if we can ensure that the experience people passing through Ondo state from the North to the South is palatable, there’s a tendency that they can be coming in. So, we need to put traffic generators in Owo, Ikare, Akure, Ondo,” he added.