By Oluwaseun Akingboye
Akure — Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has reiterated the dire need to utilize the maritime potentials in the state, expressing readiness to institutionalize it in the education sector.
Akeredolu said this during a courtesy visit to his office by the Nigerian Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency (NIMASA), stressing that his administration is ready to put the state’s waterways into use.
He decried the neglect of waterways in the country, describing it as an unfortunate situation.
“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,” he said.
Akeredolu urged the agency to develop the waterways and leverage on the state’s coastline, which is reputed to be the longest in the country, pledging that the state would partner with the agency.
The governor also declared his administration’s intention to establish a department for the study of Maritime at the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH) in Okitipupa.
“We are ready to partner with you, we are ready to see what we can do about our waterways. I 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,” he said.