Ogun State Government has announced plans to turn its gateway agro-cargo airport into an agro-processing hub for the West African sub-region.
The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, stated this on Thursday when he hosted investors in the aviation industry, opining that this would expand the state’s industrial base and open it up.
While addressing the investors at the airport located in Iperu-Remo, Abiodun said, “This airport has been built within one and half years because it fits into our transport master plan, it allows us to have a multi-modal approach that connects the road transport to the sea or ocean transport, to the rail transport and of cause to the air transport.”
“This airport is an agro-cargo airport, but it is also an international airport, it is not an agro-international, it is an agro-airport, agro and international airport, so we will have activities for both agro and non-agro and then we have passenger traffic as well.”
“We have one of the biggest cargo aprons in the country, our apron is like four times the size of the cargo apron in Murtala Muhammad International Airport, about 82,000 square meters. We are also constructing a second apron, so one apron will be dedicated to cargo, and the other will be dedicated to passengers, we have a runway that is about 4km in length and about 60 meters in width.”
He added that because of the activities around the airport, it would expand rapidly. He further stated that the state is in the process of commencing the construction of warehouses around the airport.
Also at the event, the Chairman, Access Corporation, Herbert Wigwe, said, “I think this airport will certainly be one of the very best we have in the country and perhaps in the continent, and I think when it is completed, it will serve several other purposes in terms of an export processing zone.
“I happened to be at the Bankers’ Committee at a particular point in time where we were thinking of how to resolve some of the challenges we are facing in Nigeria as far as export is concerned and apart from the seaport, this airport was designated as one of those airports that will be used to help to solve the problem of export in Nigeria.”
He added that the airport would create opportunities for employment and development in the state.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Executive Jet, Siza Madiba, the airport also creates an opportunity for a local aircraft maintenance organisation to curb capital flight since most airlines carry out their maintenance outside the country.