The Ijebu Waterside Club (IWC) at a meeting with Senator Gbenga Daniel on Monday has called on the Federal Government to heed the Save Our Soul (SOS) call of Ogun Waterside Local Government Area (OWLGA) over the total collapse of electricity supply that has grounded socio-economic activities in the last seven years.
President of IWC, Alhaji Ahmed Tijani, a 41-year group of accomplished businessmen and
professionals of Ogun Waterside extraction, intimated Senator Daniel, who represents the Ijebu East Senatorial Constituency that includes OWLGA, that the electricity crisis has impeded socio- economic development of the critical agro-industrial hub in Ogun State.
Alhaji Tijani, who noted that the people of OWLGA continue to suffer neglect, highlighted
several abandoned government projects that include the OK LNG; the Deep Sea Port; Laogo
Resort; Gateway Industrial and Petro-Gas Institute (GIPI) in Oni, the only tertiary educational in the area; Iwopin Paper Mill, and a road contract linking Efire and Ayede-Ayila to Ondo State estimated at over N14 billion that was awarded when Mrs Kemi Adeosun was Finance Minister.
Others include oil and gas-related projects that if implemented, would promote job creation, boost government’s revenue earnings and foster overall economic growth across Ogun Waterside, Ogun State and Nigeria.
According to IWC, the Nigeria Electricity and Gas Improvement Project (NIGEP), a World Bank-backed project in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria, that was planned to bring succour to the people has also been abandoned, a development that further worsened the crisis in OWLGA.
The IWC President said that the World Bank-backed electricity project has remained abandoned as funds were not made available to pay compensation to affected stakeholders.
“I also want to thank you for giving us this unique opportunity to meet with you at a very short notice. IWC cherish your simplicity, humility, tenacity and open door policies, a complete Omoluabi virtue,” Alhaji Tijani told Senator Daniel.
“Over the last 41 years of the existence of IWC”, the Club’s President told Senator Daniel, “we have met and interacted with all past Governors of Ogun State right from the time of late Lt. Col. Oladipo Diya (General Diya), except your successor who failed to meet with us throughout his eight years, and of course all our efforts to also meet with the incumbent in the last four years have also not yielded any result.”
While speaking on the neglected GIPI in Oni, he told the Senator that, “we had always
advocated for the establishment of a higher institution in our Local Government. We were
therefore happy when you established during your tenure as our Governor the Gateway
Industrial and Petro-Gas Institute (GIPI) to produce middle level manpower for anticipated projects in the OK FTZ and other Free Trade Zones in Ogun State. But today, the Institute needs help. It is your baby and we trust you will not allow it to die.”
The Iwopin Paper Mill, Alhaji Tijani further stated, “was a Federal Government project
established in our Local Government some 43 years ago that suffered major operational failure like many projects during the military era. The subsequent administrations that ruled this country after, also failed to complete the project. Consequently, the Federal Government sold the Mill at a ridiculously low amount to the late Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, Chairman of BETCO, who promised to get investors to join him and get the project back on track. BETCO, instead of bringing the company back on track, went ahead to scrap it. All the machinery including the buildings were sold as scraps. Today, Iwopin Paper Mill is totally empty and overgrown with weeds.”