The government of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has renewed its zeal to go ahead with the earlier plans to build a cargo airport that will attract investors to the state and boost other economic activities.
Information reaching Tribune Aviation indicated that the representatives of the state government have started holding meetings with the different farmers whose farmlands will be affected with locations already earmarked for the airport.
Parts of deliberations held with the farmers at the palaces of the traditional rulers included encouraging them to see the benefits inherent in the citing of the airport in their vicinity which the government said include the rapid development of the communities and the opening of the areas to investments.
The government’s representatives at the meeting promised to return to map out the affected farmlands with the aim of compensating the owners of the lands.
The airport construction, when kickstarted, will run through five communities of Igbemo, Igbogun, Aso, Iwajo and Ijan in three local government areas of Ado, Gbonyin and Irepodun/Ifelodun.
In the meantime, an appeal has gone to the Ekiti State Government to take better advantage of the presence of Akure Airport than building another one just about 30/40 minutes drive away from the state capital.
According to the Managing Director of Centurion Security Services, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retired), the tolled express road from the capital to Akure will give more revenue earnings annually to the state than an airport that would serve less than the 100,000 passengers the Akure airport is serving annually.
“If the airport will be built for agro transportation, what are the agric produce being projected for transportation and where are their destinations? The six major airports have a total of about 200,0000 metric tons of cargo traffic annually. How many of these are destined for Ekiti? Total outbound and inbound passenger traffic at Akure airport annually is about 100,000. How many of these figures are from Akure? The total air passengers figures annually transiting through Nigeria’s 22 airports have not gone above 16 million in the last 20 year. How many of these is Ekiti targeting?
“What is applicable to Ekiti is the same to Osun state. Against the FG’s plan to concession the nation’s airports, my advice to the two states are; Ekiti should work with Ondo to get the concession of Akure airport and develop it together for the benefit of their states. While Oyo and Osun should do the same with the Ibadan airport. Ekiti and Osun should construct toll roads respectively to link Akure and Ibadan airports.”
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