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March 25, 2021

Plan to turn Ibadan Airport to regional transportation hub intact – Makinde


BY AYO ESAN                    

GOVERNOR Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Thursday, said plans by his administration to make Ibadan Airport a regional transportation hub were on course.

The governor added that his administration would improve social services and expand infrastructure at the airport to enhance the economic growth of the state.

The governor made this known while receiving the Air Officer Commanding, AOC, Logistics Command, Ikeja, Air Vice Marshal Olaonipekun Makinde, at the Courtesy Room of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Ibadan.

The governor congratulated Air Vice Marshal Makinde on his appointment as the AOC, Logistics Command, Lagos.

He said, “We want to use this opportunity to send our greetings to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Dayo Amao. We congratulate him on his elevation and wish him well.

“Let me also commiserate with the entire Air Force on the loss of your officers and men in the air accident in Abuja. One of them actually happened to be from Oyo State and we are trying to reach out to the family to give the support required.”

Governor Makinde, who appreciated the Nigerian Air Force, especially the NAF Detachment, Ibadan, for its contribution to the security architecture in the state, said, “They have been very active, even in this trying time of security challenges. They have always been there not only in Oyo State but for the entire country. So, we are grateful for that support.”

Speaking further on the plan of the Oyo State Government for the Ibadan Airport, Makinde said his administration was trying to expand the runway so that bigger aircraft could land at the airport, which, according to him, should be a true alternative to Lagos.

He stated, “We believe that the Airport in Ibadan should serve as a true alternative airport to Lagos if it has the capacity to take the 747 aircraft. So, we have a project that we are incubating right now. We are trying to expand the runway so that bigger aircraft can land in Ibadan.

“We are also looking at Ibadan as actually becoming the hub for regional air transportation. We are trying, even within the shortest possible time, to see if we can have a connection between Ibadan and Port Harcourt.

“We are talking to Air Peace and they should be starting an operational flight from Ibadan to Abuja in the next two weeks. And Ibadan to Port Harcourt should commence once we have finalised the discussion that we are having with them.”

He added, “It means that with all these activities, we are bringing to the state and the Ibadan Airport, we will need more cooperation and collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force.

“I discussed with the Chief of Air Staff when he visited me here. We talked about the Air Force Base here in Ibadan and our House of Representatives member, Hon. Abass Agboworin, who is the Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, is making efforts to bring some of these projects into fruition.

“One thing that we will surely want to have is more presence of the Nigerian Air Force here in Ibadan. And as a government, we are ready and willing to make that happen.”



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