Dr Fayemi revealed that the airport project, which covers about 4,000 acres of land, is being supported by the Federal Government, African Development Bank (AfDB) and Africa Export Import Bank.
Explaining the rationale behind the airport project, Governor Fayemi said he had during his first term in office, set up a committee headed by Aare Afe Babalola, SAN which came up with a comprehensive report supporting why Ekiti should have its own airport, adding that the airport should be one that opens our state up mainly for the promotion of our agricultural, tourism and education endowment.
“We have since fine-tuned the outcome of Aare Afe Babalola’s committee report and also cracked the main bone of contention of the airport, which was funding for the project. Having conceptualize the airport as part of our integrated development strategy for Ekiti State, our development partners, African Development Bank and the Africa Export/Import Bank saw both the short term and the long term justification for this airport and decided to support it.
“The Federal Government as we also heard from the Honourable Minister, enthusiastically lend their support for the airport by assisting not only with its designation as a Cargo Airport but also approving in very short space of time all of the necessary materials that we needed in order to formally commence the operations.” The governor noted.
In his remarks, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika said Ekiti was well positioned in the comity of state in Nigeria to create wealth through agriculture, trade and knowledge zone.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria will partner in this project and support this project especially the cargo side of it because we believe that with the silos that we have there, with the green land, with the vegetation, with the nature, with the natural geography of Ekiti, it is very good candidate to produce agricultural product for export.
“By God-given design, by providence, Ekiti is at the centre of Nigeria, not too far to the south with too much rain, not too far to the north with the dry land. The per capital of Ekiti of about N1,160 per head says a lot, it tells us the capacity, capability and ability of this state to create wealth, this is very important and we will support this venture.”
SOURCE: Punch Newspaper