GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sheikh Dalmook Al Maktoum of the Dubai royal family primarily aimed at attracting investment into the state’s sea ports.
Despite being a coastal state, Ondo has very few marine facilities and its crude oil is not transported via an oil export terminal as happens in states like Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom. Ondo State is also a major producer of agricultural commodities like cocoa, cashew, kolanuts, rubber, papaya, yam, cassava, maize, etc but none of this is exported via its coast as such products are transported to Lagos for shipment through Apapa.
Ilaje Local Government Area is a coastal area that is not only oil-producing but is also home to the town of Ayetoro, which if invested in could become a major port and export terminal. During a recent trip to Dubai, Governor Akeredolu is thought to have discussed seeking collaboration to invest in those coastal infrastructure with a view to opening Ondo State up to outside trade.
Yesterday, Governor Akeredolu met Dubai’s under secretary for foreign trade Hon Abdulla Ahmed Al Saleh, to discuss opportunities in his state. He then met with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum and the Dubai Port Authority team where he signed the MoU for the development of a deep sea port and other infrastructural developments.
Already, the Ondo State government has completed a feasibility study on the proposed deep sea port in Ilaje Local Government Area. Prepared by the MTBS group of the Netherlands, the feasibility study has been forwarded to the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA).
In accordance with the terms of this MoU, both parties have expressed their intention to collaborate and work together on other business opportunities including setting up new conventional, renewable and hybrid power projects. Other objectives of the MoU include exploring the potential to develop oil blocks and strategic storage terminals, developing cashless solutions for internally generated revenues on direct assessment and any other projects of mutual interest.
Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, the founder of the diversified conglomerate Africa Middle East Resource Investment Ameri Group, has emerged as a strong global force of late. His rise as an influential figure stems from his decisive leadership in expanding the United Arab Emirates’ energy and power-network across continents and his inspirational work on the humanitarian front.