The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has promised to invest in the Ikere Gorge Dam for the generation of water supply and hydro-electricity for the State.
Makinde made this known when he received a delegation from the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, who paid him a courtesy visit, with the aim of intimating the Governor with the activities of the Authority, as it affects the State.
The visitors were received by the Governor and some members of his cabinet at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan.
Governor Makinde noted that the 565 million cubic meter multi-purpose Ikere Gorge Dam, which is the biggest dam in southwest Nigeria and located in Iseyin Local Government Area of the State, has great potentials that have not been fully tapped into.
He stated, “The Ikere Gorge Dam is the biggest dam in the Southern part of the country. I’ve been there personally and my first time there, the natural beauty of the place is almost out of this world… We know that we do have tourism potential in there apart from agriculture.”
Noting that it is a new beginning for the State, Governor Makinde reiterated the commitment of his administration to driving the envisaged growth of the State’s economy through the Dam.
Governor Makinde, however, further revealed that he would immediately focus on the Water Corporation of Oyo State after which water schemes which are at different stages of completion would be expanded and rehabilitated.
He said, “I don’t want it to constantly be on paper where we say, we have this or that project…some have been completed, good. But the value from the completed project is to get water to our people. And if we have to go the route of the Public-Private Partnership, we can have bulk purchase and through creative arrangements, we will have water to our people.”
While highlighting the activities of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority and projects embarked on in Oyo State, the Managing Director, Olufemi Olayemi Odumosu, called the attention of Governor Makinde to the challenges at the Ikere Gorge Dam.
Odumosu disclosed that, “The hydropower components and the tourism potentials are currently being faced with the challenge of getting the right investors as well as the deplorable conditions of the 28km access road to the area from Iseyin. There is therefore the need for the intervention of the Governor in ensuring that the road is put in proper perspective.”
Governor Makinde further declared that his administration is ready to work closely with the Authority to overcome the problem of implementation of projects encountered at the Federal government level, among other challenges faced because the project is very central to the economy of the State.