The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has revealed why his administration embarked on the construction of the cargo airport in Ilishan-Remo.
In 2007, the administration of former Governor Gbenga Daniel commenced the agro-cargo project in Iperu-Remo in Ogun East, but could not complete the project conceived to support the state’s agricultural production.
Amosun, on his assumption of office in 2011, however, initiated an international airport located in Wasimi, Ewekoro Local Government Area (LGA), Ogun West and abandoned the cargo airport project proposed by Daniel.
Dapo Abiodun, who took over from Amosun in 2019, also abandoned the international airport and supported Gbenga Daniel’s proposed cargo airport with the claim that the agro-cargo airport “is a priority need for the state.”
Abiodun had also said what Ogun State “is yearning for is an airport that will support its massive agro-allied development potentials.”
However, during an on-the-spot assessment of work done on the 2.3km access road to the cargo airport in the State on Sunday, Abiodun noted that the decision was taken based on the economic development agenda of his administration to have a cargo airport that fully complements agro value chain investments in the State.
He reiterated that the proposal for the cargo airport which was conceived in 2007, had all necessary environmental impact assessment and other regulatory assessments.
“This was not a decision that was taken for any other reason except that which is objective. Our thinking was based on our economic development agenda which is to have a cargo airport that fully complements agro value chain investments in the State.
“This project has since been conceived in 2007. All necessary approvals were gotten in 2008, and all environmental impact assessments, as well as other regulatory requirements, have been met 100%. All we had to do was brush them up to ensure that they met with current realities,” he said.
Governor Abiodun, while noting that his Administration opted to go with the cargo airport proposal from 2007 because it would help his Administration co-locate the Special agro-processing zone in the area, added that because of the zone, his Administration has renamed the cargo airport city an hetropolis, because it would afford the State factories where raw materials can be turned into final products for export.
The state helmsman, who added that the cargo airport would be complemented with the first international testing centre where goods would be evaluated for export, said the commencement of a cargo airport in the area would help the siting of the testing centre in the area.
“More importantly, we made bid for the African Development Bank, AfDB’s special agro-processing zone and in that bid document, we chose this location to co-locate the special agro-processing zone here. Because of that, we have now renamed this place an heteropolis, meaning a complete airport city, because it has an airport and a special agro-processing zone. We will also have factories here that will turn them from raw materials into finished products ready for export.
“The AFROEXIM Bank has begun the construction of the first African International Testing Centre here in Sagamu; that is, a centre where items for export would be evaluated and approved for export, so a cargo airport here is just very convenient and economically wise,” he said.
Abiodun, while noting that the project which had already begun before the Senate Committee on Aviation came to the State, affirmed that the first phase of the cargo airport would be completed by May, 2022.
“This project had begun way before the Aviation Committee came here. It was not the other way round. In line with our economic development agenda, we had an airport as part of our key enablers, and we have begun the airport. As a matter of fact, in line with our plans, this first phase of the airport will be completed by May 2022. The work was already in progress and the coming of the Senate Committee was incidental,” he said.