September 13, 2023. Lagos, Nigeria: 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.
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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.
In 2010, the NIGEP offered a big ray of hope when the Federal Government completed works on
the Omotosho 2x150MVA, 330kv power plant, and a proposal was made to construct a
2x150MVA, 330/132kv substation at the power plant and utilise the outgoing 132kv lines to
feed neighbouring areas of the power plant.
The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the World Bank, subsequently decided that
the proposed Omotosho-Agodo substation, a 45 kilometre 132kv double-circuit line project,
would be executed to serve the people of 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
According to the IWC President, 'information available to us is that when the location suitable
for Deep Sea Port operations was discovered after the geophysical-cum-topographical studies
were undertaken many years ago, the physical stretch involved showed that 15% of it belongs
to Lagos State, 50% falls within Ogun Waterside seashore in Ogun State, and 35% falls within
Ondo State from Ogun State border. Unfortunately, nothing has been done and Lagos State,
whose portion is marginal, is already working on her Deep Sea Port project. All these projects
are capable of generating thousands of jobs and contributing in no small way to the revenue of
While responding to the IWC delegation, Senator Daniel, a former Governor of Ogun State,
expressed his deepest empathy for the people noting that the electricity crisis of over seven
years was unfortunate.
While lauding the visit by IWC as a patriotic cause, he also added that effort being made by the
group for the welfare of the people of Ogun Waterside, 'must be commended.'
According to him, 'don't get tired or frustrated because all you are doing, and what all of us are
doing, are for the benefit of our children.'
Senator Daniel, who received detailed briefing documents from the IWC delegation, promised to
personally work with stakeholders across all the tiers of the Nigerian Government to bring the
plight of Ijebu Waterside region to the relevant authorities for prompt action.