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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Ondo Gas Plant ready Dec

By Olusola Alatise
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Baring any hitch, contractors handling the Ondo State Gas Plant will next month (December) complete and hand over the project to the state government, The Hope can authoritatively reveal.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ondo State Investment Development And Promotion Agency, ONDIPA and Senior Special Assistant to the state governor, Mr Boye Oyewunmi, who gave the hint in an interview with The Hope said the Gas Plant project is a deliberate effort by the state to tackle epileptic power supply and ensure that the industrial hubs the state is creating do not suffer lack of power supply.

He said that the government is bringing gas to the Free Trade Zone in Ilaje, the Industrial City, and the Industrial Park in Ore and other industrial areas of the state.

His words: “Through the help of the Presidency, we are talking to Nigeria Gas Company, a subsidiary of NNPC to give us gas because if you put a thousand megawatts there without gas, it will just be a monumental waste.

There is gas in Omotoso but there is no gas in our own area. That power plant is almost completed. By next month they should hand it over to us.”

This effort, he said, was to ensure that industries boom across the state particularly at the Free Trade Zone and Ore Industrial City.

He said the newly created industries cannot thrive without power, adding that nobody runs industry on diesel and be successful as it can be very expensive. The gas plant, according to him is to consolidate the evolving industrial revolution in the state.

Oyewunmi disclosed that WEWOOD group,  a Chinese company has started three different industries at Ore Industrial Park while another company has been given a thousand hectares, saying all of them are waiting for electricity.

Citing Oluwa Glass and Ifon Ceramics as examples,  he said there were some machines that should never be switched off, yet there was no electricity.

On the source of financing the projects, the ONDIPA boss said the state government did not pay for them but issued a performance bond to the contractors who will get payment on delivery to specification

“This government doesn’t issue advance payment for anybody. You don’t go to the field with our money and we are chasing you.  You go and raise money, and we will tell you ‘this is our bond, when you finish, go and catch the bond,’ that is how we have been able to get things done.

“Even the roads you are seeing, nobody is getting advance payment, since you say you are good at it, go and take the risk, go and do the job, at milestones we will pay you.

“Oluwa Gas for example, and Ifon Ceramic, there are many reasons why they went down. Some of those hard machines should never be switched off, yet we have no electricity.

“A frustration of 40years cannot be cleared in 18months. We are willing to be pushed back, but we will tell you the truth, instead of telling you that in one day a sky-scrapper will be built, it would be a sky-crapper built with cards.

“All of these would have to come together to have an industrial revolution. But if you don’t have clarity on what you are doing, you will just be biting away at the edges.”

On the Olokola free trade zone, Oyewunmi said that the state is rather focused on the Deep Sea Port which he said will be delivered very soon as against the paper work that the Akeredolu administration met on ground.

“When we came in, the Deep Sea Port was just on paper. Like anything else, if you don’t energise it, it will be just on paper.

“The topography, all the graphic studies have now been completed, we are now at the state of port feasibility being done by an Holland firm.They have submitted their first draft, and a final report will be out next week (this week).

“At that point, once the Port feasibility is complete, we can have the port declaration.

“Olokola is a tripartite investment, not even tripartite; it is between Ondo, Ogun, the federal government and investors.

“Truth be told, a sub-national cannot answer questions why a national project did not take off. We are a sub-national. We have focused our own attention on the Port of Ondo because that is what the Deep Sea Port will be called.

“Once the Port feasibility is complete, we can have the port declaration.

“It’s after you have the port declaration then you can say that you have a deep sea port project.

“If everything goes according to plan, by next quarter, we should have a proper port declaration by the federal government.

 “Once the place has been declared as a suitable location for a port, investors will be invited. We are inundated with a lot of requests from companies that want to invest in it, because you can see the mess going on in Lagos.

“We have the deepest port, averaging 19meters, nobody else can brag about that. We have one of the longest coastlines, contiguous, straight line, not going into creeks and coming out.

“So that is another project that we are focusing on. We are not too interested in Olokola, because that is driven by the Federal Government. We just have a small stake in it, and it has spent so long on the shelf that cob webs have overtaken the ambition.

“This is a new project that in 18months has travelled further than Olokola ever travelled.

“Where the deep sea port is, we met a free trade zone there set up by the last regime. We have activated it.

“The deep sea and the free trade zone are in the same area. We have reactivated it and that makes a lot of sense. That means whatever they produce, they can export, and that free trade zone seats on a larger land called Ondo Industrial City. The proposed site for it is 30,000 hectares.

“You have a new VI, Lekki and the axis coming up in that area. It is when you create opportunities like this that people can find their own levels.

“That is part of the master plan. You are aware of the road from Ibeju-lekki, the NDDC road. From that road we have a new road that we just flagged off, by CRCC, the Chinese company.

“From Ibeju-lekki to that road is 25km, there is 12km between Ondo and the NDDC road, from where that one ends to Akure we have 131km. That is a game-changer.

It means travelling from Lagos to Akure under two hours on a tolled road, greenfield project, not going through anybody’s land, no present infrastructure.

“We are going to toll it because that is the only way we can return the money back to the investors.”

The Hope Owena Press
The Hope Owena Presshttp://www.thehopenewspaper.com
Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure

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