Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN has appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for the role he played in the actualization of the Bitumen exploitation in the state.
The Governor who took to his twitter account to share the “Journey of Hope” of the Bitumen project said it’s understandable that a sustainable project takes time but a promise is a promised that must be fulfilled.
The Governor in another tweet appreciated President Buhari for his commitment to the project through the Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative which was launched in 2017.
In his tweets: “We understand that sustainable development takes time but a promise is a promise. When we say it, we always do it. #DevelopOndo.”
“I must also appreciate @MBuhari for his commitment to this project through the Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative which started around the beginning of my administration.”
Quite a number of people are on Facebook calling the bitumen project status a ploy to decieve. They ought to know that there is a fundamental difference between what we are seeing here and what we have seen in previous years; this time, *this company has a Mining Lease which is the first one ever granted in Nigeria for Mining Bitumen.*
The Journey of Ondo Bitumen of Hope was given in a blow by blow manner in order for the populace to understand the stages the current Bitumen exploitation success has passed through;
– February 2017 – Expression of Interest from Southwest Bitumen Limited (SWB) to work with Ondo State on Bitumen Exploration
– March 23rd 2017 – Presidency engages states and requests to provide focus industries for diversification
– April 2017 – Ondo State writes to FG emphasizing 4 areas; Gas, Bitumen, Agric and FTZ development
– May 2017 – State Government engages Fed Min of Mines and Steel with SWB on pushing the bitumen project development further.
– July 19th 2017 – FG announces it will be issuing Exploration license at Presidential Economic Diversification initiative Conference (PEDI) in Akure.
– Oct 23rd 2017 – Exploration license awarded. This license is different from the ones owned by state owned firm, BEECON.
– Nov 7th 2017 – President Buhari shows full commitment to bitumen exploration project in Budget speech.
– May 18th 2018 – First ever Mining lease granted to mine bitumen in Nigeria granted to SWB.
– Sept 2018 – Southwest Bitumen Limited engages state to facilitate MOU with host community Petu, in Irele. SWB pays millions in compensation to host communities.
– Sept 2018 – Southwest Bitumen commences development of Center for Bitumen Research and development at the Federal University of Technology (FUTA) Akure.
– Jan 24th 2019 – State govt facilitates the issuance of C of O to Southwest for designated mining areas.
– June 14th 2019 – Southwest Bitumen presents project update to the governor on activities to date.
– Nov 2019 – SWB begins the preparation of company yard for equipment and production.
– August 2020 – SWB invites state to inspect facility and equipment to commence production.