The governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has said that the Agro-Cargo Airport being constructed by his administration would serve as a conglomeration to agro-processing companies as well as aetropolis that has added value services when completed
Abiodun stated this when he conducted the Chief Executive Officer, Arise Integrated Industrial Platform, Mr. Gagan Gupta around the airport at Illisan-Remo, at the weekend.
He noted that the airport would also provide facilities for cargo processing, storage, warehouses, and a training centre, among others.
“This is an aetropolis; it is not just an airport but one that adds value services. The agro serving part is the most interesting, it is going to be a conglomeration of agro-processing companies that take raw materials, turn them into finished goods. We will also have aggregation centres, and storage facilities for agro produce so that the agro-processing centres will not run out of raw materials.
“This is a truly an international cargo airport. At the stage it is now, it is already attracting a lot of attention and investors. The Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Air Force, which has requested for 100 acres of land to build their base and training school. Others have signified interest to build whare houses. Cargo companies have also applied to have their presence here.
“Those that want to go into the hospitality business have applied to build hotels. We will also have demonstration farms that would be run through an out-grower scheme. That is the entire gamut of what will be seen here, I don’t have any doubt that this airport in the first instance, will generate over 25,000 to 30,000 jobs”, the governor stated.
Abiodun, who regretted that the project had been on the drawing board for many years, maintained the reason for embarking on the construction of the airport was economic gains through employment opportunities and the desire to keep the state as the nation’s industrial capital.
According to the Governor, “this project started about 12 months ago and I promised that by God’s grace we will complete it in 18 months. We have gone round and see that the control tower is gradually coming out from the ground, we have driven on the runway which is four kilometres and have seen where the apron is. There is the administrative building of the control tower.
“Coming into the airport itself, we drove on the access road which is three kilometres, the runway is being asphalted. I am happy with the project and impressed with the speed and quality of work the contractors are doing. I don’t have any doubt that this project will be delivered on schedule which is the end of November or first week of December”. He added.
The governor, however, described the project as “monumental”, stressing that “the project when completed, will not only have multiplier effects on the economy of the state, subregion, but the entire country”.
While reiterating that his administration would keep to its promises, he noted that “when we came here last year, we made a pronouncement that we will build this airport. The nay sayers said it was a political statement but you all know that in our usual style, we are a very deliberate and focused administration. We only make promises we can keep. We did not promise to do everything but everything we promised, we will ensure that is done. This is yet another testimony of the promise made to the good people of our state”.
He said his administration had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Arise Integrated Industrial Platform which is expected to invest over $400m at the processing zone as well as the Olokola cluster.
Speaking, Mr. Gupta expressed satisfaction with the level and quality of work done so far at the airport, noting that his organisation was looking forward to participating in developing the state’s processing zone which he said would lead to the creation of more jobs opportunities for the people.