The Gateway Agro-Cargo Airport, located along Iperu-lishan road in Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State, on Thursday, recorded successful maiden commercial flight on Thursday.
Speaking at the historical event, Governor Dapo Abiodun said that the airport marked the actualisation of a dream by former Governor Gbenga Daniel, adding that the development of the airport is in alignment of his administration’s desire to provide a conducive atmosphere for industries to not only berth in the state, but to record success.
Abiodun who disclosed that the choice of the location would allow for easy access from different parts of the state, added that the Eastern and Northern region of the country can also be accessed from the airport.
The governor noted that the country is currently pursuing strategies to promote the export of goods and services, stressing that the Ogun State International Agro Cargo Airport will be critical in achieving the objective.
While noting that the airport is part of an integrated development programme aimed at unleashing the full potential of the state, he added that his administration is also currently pursuing the commencement of a dry port in Kajola in Ogun Central Senatorial district of the state.
The state helmsman added that his administration is also pursuing the construction of the Olokola Port, disclosing that he has no doubt that the port would help to decongest the Apapa Port.
“Another complementary infrastructure transportation project currently being pursued is the development of the dry port at Kajola in Ogun Central.
“This dry port will be located on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line in the Kajola free trade zone, the free trade zone that was also established by Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
” We have also commenced the process of the construction of the Olokola Port, this will go a long way into easing the port congestion and make Apapa Port more efficient. No doubt, this airport will become the alternative airport to the Muritala Muhammad International Airport and it is already being considered as the export terminal of non oil in the country,” he submitted.
In his speech, the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, described the Gateway Agro Cargo Airport as a world class project worthy of emulation.
Osinbajo also disclosed that the Kajola Dry Port in the state would soon become operational in a few months time.
The VP noted that the state had taken a huge step in fulfilling the dreams of the forebears to have a vibrant, modern and industrious community, described the Agro Cargo Airport as the dream of the state which is the engine room of the nation’s economy, commerce and business.
“This airport isn’t just the best in Nigeria, it is a world class airport that we are here to see
“Ogun State has definitely taken a huge step in fulfilling the dreams of our forebears, the dreams of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the dreams of others, the dreams of a vibrant modern and industrious community leaving together in.peace and prosperity
“A dream of Ogun State that is the engine room of our nation’s economy and our nation’s commerce and business
“In a few months, the Kajola Dry Port will also be operational and I am confident that this airport will transform the entire South West region and serve as catalyst for economic growth and the development of our nation and sub region,” he said.
Osinbajo who noted that an airport is only an infrastructure for building a dynamic economic area, said that government is now poised to provide facilities for a world class economic zone.
The Vice President while noting that the airport would serve the special Agro processing zone which was recently established through the generous assistance of the African Development Bank, disclosed that the airport is an essential tool in the preparation of the country for full participation as serious players in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Abubakar Sirika, in his remarks, disclosed that airports have a way of connecting business, noted that the airport is a product of people who sat down to think about what can be done to improve the socio-economic development of the people of the state.
Sirika who noted that the gains of the airport won’t be seen at the moment, but in the future, added that the gains of the airport with the ability to carry cargo from one place to another cannot be quantified.
A former Governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Olusegun Osoba, who described Governor Dapo Abiodun as the actualizer of dreams, commended him for not abandoning projects of his predecessor and for believing in continuity.
In his remarks, the commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr Ade Akinsanya, disclosed that the airport is geared towards providing an avenue for farm produce to be exported outside the country, thereby developing the socio economy of the state and it’s people.
The Chairman of the Council of Obas and the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, while describing the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu as an articulate and capable man, called on the people of the state to vote for BolaTinubu during the forth coming general elections.
Akarigbo who also called on the people of the state to vote Governor Dapo Abiodun for a second term, noted that the landmark projects he had embarked upon in the last three and half years have shown that if he continues for a second term, the best is yet to come.
The former governor of the state and the Senatorial candidate of Ogun East of the All Progressives Congress, Gbenga Daniel, while describing Governor Dapo Abiodun as the actualizer of the dream of the airport, expressed his happiness and urged Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to use his office to help the state actualize its own dream of a deep sea port.
Speaking on behalf of the partners, the Chairman of Value jet, Kunle Soname, commended the Ogun State Government under the leadership of Governor Dapo Abiodun for the dream which has now become a reality, disclosing that Value Jet is proud to be the first company to have its plane land in the airport.