From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Senate Committee on Aviation at the weekend inspected the two proposed sites for airports in Ogun State.
The 7-man Committee led by Senator Smart Adeyemi, visited the sites of the proposed Gateway Agro Cargo, Ilishan-Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area and passenger airport located at Wasimi, Ewekoro Local Government Area of the state.
The agro cargo airport had been conceptualised in 2007 by the Gbenga Daniel administration, while the immediate past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun in 2018, proposed to construct a passenger airport with its proposed location in Wasimi area of the state.
Receiving the Committee on Friday at the Exco Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, disclosed his administration would continue with the plan to construct an agro-cargo airport in the state.
Abiodun explained that the agro-cargo airport project has lots of potentials in the overall development of the state in particular and the country in general.
The governor, however, noted that what Ogun State is yearning for is an airport that will support its massive agro development potentials.
According to him, the decision to continue with the agro- airport project, located in Ilishan-Remo in Ogun East Senatorial District, was made by the state’s joint inter-ministerial committee, which evaluated and placed priority on it as against the Ewekoro passenger airport.
Governor Abiodun noted that a lot of verifiable work had started on the agro-cargo airport project, which had the approval of the federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
He informed the committee that there were no details or information on the Ewekoro project in the handing over note of the Amosun’s administration.
“This administration is deliberate and methodical. The need to have a Cargo airport was made by our joint inter ministerial committee and we consequently evaluated the initiatives that were started by previous administrations because government is a continuum.
“After a thorough evaluation, the choice of the Airport cargo location in Ilishan was unanimous, it complements the Agric/processing factories eco system in that corridor with access/egress road network.
“Again, government is a continuum, we are completing this project that was conceptualized by a previous administration same way we have completed other projects (like) roads, bridges, hospitals and schools that were started by the previous administration. Our decision are always based on the economic value and benefits to our people.
“Comparatively on the other proposed airport location, we did not find any details or information in any handover notes as it all seems to be shrouded in secrecy,” Abiodun said.
Abiodun said that a committee led by the national president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), commissioned to investigate the proposed Airport, found out in its report that there was no approval by the ministry of aviation nor the NCAA.
Besides, it was also found out that while some consultancies were awarded, there were no deliverables
He also noted that the proposed location for the airport has the largest cement factories in the country, and that those factories are emitting dust particles and pollutants into the sky.
He, however said that his government has redesigned the location for a more complimentary purpose to the factories as trailer/container transit terminal and park.
He solicited for the support of the Committee for the first international cargo airport in Nigeria, adding that the first phase is expected to be completed by May 2022.
In his remarks, a member of the committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, representing Lagos West, maintained that Ogun needs a cargo airport than a passenger one.
He added that the Committee would look into the project.
Another member, Senator Biodun Olujinmi promised that the Committee which was on a fact finding mission would deliberate on it’s findings about the two projects and come up with a report to be submitted before the Assembly.
Briefing newsmen after inspecting the site for the proposed passenger airport in Wasimi, on Saturday, the Committee chairman, Senator Smart Adeyemi, said the Committee was in the state to inspect the proposed airport projects, without any prejudice.
He said that Ogun could accommodate the two airports due to the concentration of industries, the committee would come out with its report and submit such to the National Assembly.