Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the Ogun State Agro-Cargo airport would further showcase the potentials of the state.
The Vice President made this known while speaking at the official landing of the maiden flight of the Gateway International Agro-Cargo Airport at Iperu-Ilishan in the Ikenne Local Government Area of the state.
Osinbajo said that the airport would lead to the fulfillment of the state forefathers’ dreams like those of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
The Vice President further described the state as the engine room of the nation’s economy and commerce, stressing that the airport would further boost its potentials.
He lauded a former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, for conceptualising the project and going ahead to getting necessary approval for it.
“This is the first fully functional agro-cargo airport in Nigeria. The future is more exciting than the present, as it serves the essential tool for Nigeria’s participation in the free trade zone.
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun said the agro-cargo airport would attract more investments and exportation of agricultural produce out of the country through the state. He expressed delight that the project had become a reality with the landing of a commercial aircraft on its runway. He said that the unveiling marked the actualisation of the dream conceived 16 years ago by the Gbenga Daniel administration, stressing that the airport project was in alignment with the focus of the current administration in the state.
He added that it remained a vital aspect of transportation, which would accelerate development in the state and ensure its expansion. He further lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for funding the project at a low interest rate.
A former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel stated that as a sitting governor, his administration commenced a 25 years master plan, which included the airport project that it got an approval for in 2008. He said the state government conceptualised the project in a bid to addressing the challenges confronting farmers, who could not export their farm produce out of the state.
Daniel, however, said that the government could not continue with the project because of the alleged internal wrangling in the state house of assembly, but expressed joy that the project had become a reality.
“As an international airport, the facility can serve as an alternative to other Federal Government airports in the country, especially the Lagos airport.
The state’s Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya, said the project was conceptualised by the state government to create the needed infrastructure to boost exportation of agricultural and non-agricultural goods on one hand, and on the other hand, to further reinvigorate socio-economic activities for the state, noting that full construction of the project was taken up by the Dapo Abiodun administration in April 2021, stating that this would also increase revenue generation drive of the state.