By Innocent Orok
As clarion calls beefed up for the speedily construction of the Olokola Deep Seaport in Ondo State, informed views are favouring the project, even at a time the proposed Badagry Deep Seaport has been technically suspended by the Federal Government.
Such called again in support of the Olokola Deep Seaport is coming from a stakeholder and a shipping magnet, Otunba Sola Olatunji, Managing Director Victory Energy Resources Limited.
According Otunba Olatunji, aside from the huge investment opportunities the deep seaport will offer, it will also create not less than One million jobs.
Otunba Olatunji, who spoke with our Correspondent recently in Lagos, said the project would be a major catalyst to the economy and generate several direct and indirect jobs. Even as it would earn the Country over $9 billion annually.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) recently cancelled the proposed Badagry Deep Seaport over alleged discrepancies in the consultant report, but those in the know said a major issue is the gridlock in Lagos which citing of the deep seaport at Lekki and Badagry will definitely compound the problem.
According to Otunba Olatunji a good selling point for the Olokola Deep Seaport apart from its taking away the Lagos gridlock is its over nine meters natural draught which can accommodate bigger vessels and free from constant dredging.
He said: “Deep Seaport business is all about logistics. I just mentioned to you that out of about 20 vessels that come to West Africa daily, 17 berthed in Nigeria.
“If the Olokola Deep seaport is realized, all those vessels will go there for their maintenance, bunker and groceries. Do you know the implication? Do you know how much that will be accrueable to Nigeria daily from that?
Do you know what only ship Chandelling activities to these vessels will do to this economy? We are talking of transactions that are all done in foreign exchange,” he said.
He further said that the Olokola River has the longest coast and deepest draught in Nigeria, hence will be able to take bigger vessels that cannot berth in Lagos and other River Ports in Nigeria.
He maintained that many ancillary services attached to shipping will help to generate more jobs for the people as well as attract investors into the Country.
He said again “So, you will now see new businesses thriving, new markets emerging because sailors will come out from the ships to go and buy things.
“Boat operators, ancillary service providers will come and investors will put money in the business,” he stressed.
The shipping magnet , however suggested that the proposed Olokola Deep Seaport be run on a Private Public Partnership (PPP) model.