Governor of Ondo state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Thursday, said the state will partner with the Nigerian Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to put the state’s water ways into use.
Governor Akeredolu lamented the neglect of water ways in the country, describing it as an unfortunate situation. He charged the NIMASA team to be more concerned about the development of the nation’s water ways.
The Governor spoke during a courtesy visit to his office by a team from the NIMASA, led by Engr. Rotimi Fashakin at the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure.
Akeredolu urged the agency to develop the waterways in Ondo State, urging it to leverage on the state’s coastline, reputed to be the longest in the country.
The Governor also declared his administration’s intention to establish a department for the study of Martime at the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH) in Okitipupa.
“Our coastal line is the longest, and no doubt, it should be your concern. It’s good that you have looked at our coastal area and have seen for yourselves the level of decadence.
” It is rather unfortunate. It is something unfortunate, not only in Ondo State, but for Nigeria as a country. We don’t all have to travel by roads, we don’t all have to fly. What’s happening about the development of our waterways. It should be a source of concern to all of us.
“We are ready to partner with you , we are ready to see what we can do about our waterways. Am happy about the fact that you have come, You have looked at our Oluwa River. As you said, the impact assessment report when it is done , we will receive it, then we can sit down with other stakeholders to see how we move.
“Talking about the study of maritime, we have OSUSTECH that’s a University of Technology. That time has come for us to have a proper department for the study of the maritime. We are ready for the building of ship and training of engineers,” Akeredolu said.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the team, Engr. Fashakin said the team has been to the Oluwa Rivers to do impact assessment and look at the materials that constitute clogs in the maritime space.
He said the team also sensitized the people in the area on the need to keep the maritime environment pollution free.
“We came with a team to do impact assessment of the riverine area and we came to look at the materials that potentially constitute clogs in the maritime space.
” We visited Oluwa rivers in Okitipupa and we tried to sensitize the people of the need to keep the marine environment pollution free because this will eventually have an effect on the entire marine environment and the Eco – System.
“All these will be produced and place at your table. All these are geared towards making our impact felt in a larger dimension as citizens of this state. We will use resources in improving the development of the maritime space within Ondo state.
“Nigeria has a coastal line of 853 kilometers and Ondo State constitutes a large portion of that expansive coastline. So it is important that Ondo State too should be able to leverage and exploit the resources of the marine environment for which NIMASA is mandated by law to superintend over.
“NIMASA is also mandated in promoting indigenous shipping development. You recently flagged the eastern road straight to Lagos in collaboration with NDDC. We are looking at the possibility, looking at that main river which stretches to Lagos, Knowing that from Araromi to Lagos should be about 45minutes, we should be able to exploit the water ways and of course, Ondo State in collaboration with NIWA and NIMASA, we should be able to ensure that we make life a lot more comfortable for our people. ” Fashakin said.