The Gateway Agro-Cargo Airport, located along Iperu-lishan road in Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State, on Thursday, witnessed the maiden commercial flight.
Speaking at the aviation event, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, noted that the airport marks the realization of the dream of former Governor Gbenga Daniel, adding that the development of the airport is in line with his administration’s desire to provide an enabling environment for industries not only to land at state, but also to record success.
Abiodun, who revealed that the choice of location would allow easy access from different parts of the state, added that the eastern and northern regions of the country can also be accessed from the airport.
The governor added that the country is currently implementing strategies to promote the export of goods and services, noting that the state-owned Ogun International Agricultural Cargo Airport will be critical to achieving this goal.
Noting that the airport is part of an integrated development program aimed at unleashing the full potential of the state, he said that his administration is currently commissioning a dry port at Kajola in Ogun Central Senatorial District of the state.
The state helmsman added that his administration is also pursuing the construction of the Port of Olokola, revealing that he has no doubt that the port would help decongest the Port of Apapa.
“Another additional infrastructural transport project currently being pursued is the development of the Kajola dry port in Ogun Central.
“This dry port will be on the Lagos-Ibadan railway line in the Kajola Free Trade Zone, also established by Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
“We have also started the process of construction of Olokola port, this will go a long way in reducing port congestion and make Apapa port more efficient.
No doubt, this airport will become the alternative airport to Muritala Muhammad International Airport and is already considered as the non-petroleum export terminal in the country,” he said.
In his speech, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, described the Gateway Agro Cargo Airport as a world-class project worthy of emulation.
Osinbajo also revealed that the state’s Kajola dry port will be operational within a few months.
The Vice President noted that the state has taken a giant step in fulfilling the dreams of the forefathers to have a vibrant, modern and hardworking community, described the Agro Cargo Airport as the dream of the state which is the engine room of the nation’s economy, trade and business.
“This airport is not just the best in Nigeria, it is the world-class airport that we see here.
“Ogun State has definitely taken a big step towards fulfilling the dreams of our forefathers, the dreams of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the dreams of others, of a vibrant modern and hardworking community.
Going together in peace and prosperity. “The dream of Ogun State which is the engine room of our nation’s economy and our nation’s trade and business.
“In a few months, the Kajola Dry Port will be operational as well.
And I am confident that this airport will transform the entire Southwest region and act as a catalyst for the economic growth and development of our countries and sub-regions,” he said.
Osinbajo, noting that an airport is just infrastructure for building a dynamic economic space, said the government is now ready to provide facilities for a world-class economic zone.
The Vice President while noting that the airport would serve the special Agro processing zone which was recently established through the generous assistance of the African Development Bank, disclosed that the airport is an essential tool in the preparation of the country for full participation as serious players in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Aviation Minister Senator Hadi Abubakar Sirika revealed in his speech that airports have a way of connecting businesses, noting that airports are the product of people who sit down to think about what can be done to improve economic and social development of the people of the state Noting that the airport’s earnings will not be seen at the moment, but in the future, Sirika added that the airport’s earnings with the ability to transport cargo from one place to another cannot be quantified.
A former governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Olusegun Osoba, who described Governor Dapo Abiodun as a dream comer, commended him for not abandoning the projects of his predecessor and for believing in continuity.
In his remarks, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure Engr Ade Akinsanya revealed that the airport is geared towards providing a means for exporting agricultural products outside the country, thus developing the social economy of the state and its people.
The Chairman of the Council of Obas and Paramount Ruler of Akarigbo and Remoland, Oba Babatunde Aje, has called on the people of the state to vote for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as an honest and capable man.
For BolaTinubu during the upcoming general elections.
Akarigbo, who also called on the people of the state to vote Governor Dapo Abiodun for a second term, noted that the landmark projects he had embarked on in the last three and a half years showed that if he continues for a second term, the best is yet to come.
Describing Governor Dapo Abiodun as the bringer of the airport dream, Gbenga Daniel, former state governor and Ogun Este senator candidate of the All Progressives Congress, expressed his happiness and urged Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to use his position to help the state realize its own dream of a deep-water port.
Speaking on behalf of the partners, Chairman of Value jet, Kunle Soname congratulated the Ogun State government under the leadership of Governor Dapo Abiodun for the dream which has now come true, revealing that Value Jet is proud to be the first company to land its plane at the airport.
Trek Africa Newspaper