Why Akeredolu, NASS Lawmakers Not Happy with proposed Ore – Benin Coastal rail Project
By Our Reporter
The lawmaker representing Akoko Southeast /Southwest Federal Constituency of Ondo state in the House of Representatives, Hon Ade Adeogun has revealed efforts being made by governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and other elected members of the All Progressives Congress, APC to ensure the construction of coastal rail from Ore through Akure to Benin city by the federal government.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had last week approved $11.17 billion to link all Nigeria’s coastal cities by rail in six years.
The proposed route alignment is from Lagos to Sagamu, Sagamu to Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Ode to Ore, Ore to Benin City, Benin-City to Sapele, Sapele to Warri, Warri to Yenogoa, Yenegoa to Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt to Aba, Aba to Uyo, Uyo to Calabar, Calabar to Akamkpa to Ikom, Obudu Ranch with branch lines from Benin-City to Agbor, Ogwashi-ukwu, Asaba, Onitsha and Onitsha Bridge and then Port Harcourt to Onne Deep Sea Port.
Addressing members of the Ondo State Online Media Professionals held in Akure, the Ondo state Capital Adeogun however expressed displeasure over non inclusion of Akure to Benin rail route in the approved project.
Adeogun said “I am not happy with the coastal rail that was done when I realised that it passed through Ore to Benin and I felt that why didn’t it pass through Ore to Akure and Akure to Benin ?
By the time it is going to pass through Ore, and pass through Owo. I felt that we will get better value in Ondo state if it can be diverted that way.
Governor Akeredolu is aware of that because we discussed and I know the governor too would wish that we can get this and I know the governor had spoken with the Minister of Transportation and other stakeholders to see how this could be diverted to the other place,through Ore to Ondo to Akure to Owo and to Edo state.
I know we want that. So it is not enough for us to celebrate that it passes through Ore. Ore cuts off major parts of Ondo state, the capital is Akure.
The promise is that there is going to be another one that will start from Ore to Ado-ekiti but I know Nigeria, phase two is never get done. We want to be in phase one.
It may not work now because they have approved the budget but I know that the spur we are asking for is not in the budget but for whatever purpose, we can still try to lobby to ensure that it gets to Akure, Owo on the way to Benin city rather than passing through Ore.”
Speaking on other efforts of elected lawmakers, Adeogun said Members of the House of Representatives from Ondo have a caucus headed by Hon. Akinfolarin and we have been collaborating. We went to Mr Babatunde Fasola as a team to fight for Ondo state.
First we went to the minister to tell him that there was not a single Federal government project from his ministry in Ondo state and he argued they did some road rehabilitation. He mentioned Ore road and we told him that the road was rehabilitated by Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
He then asked us to identify three major roads that needed urgent attention and we selected Ilesa to Akure,Ipele to Kogi state and Akure to Ado-ekiti. Those were the three roads we selected.
We will continue to press so that the roads are funded. We have to fight for our people because that is why we were elected. ”
He also described education of the youths in his constituency as his priority, saying the power of knowledge can not be overemphasized.
Adeogun said his utmost desire was to see the skills of the youths in his constituency developed so well that they could be self reliant.