BusinessDay

Ogun cargo airport to begin operations before end of 2022

The Ogun State government says construction work on its international cargo airport is being completed to enable the facility to commence operations before the end of 2022.

In 2007, Gbenga Daniel, the former governor of Ogun State conceived the idea of setting up a cargo airport in the state to attract business and investment and to take advantage of the proximity of the state to Lagos.

Upon securing all necessary approvals from the federal ministry of aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the erstwhile governor settled for Ilishan-Remo, near Sagamu, as his preferred location and did the groundwork. But he could not complete the project before the expiration of his tenure in office.

The current governor, Dapo Abiodun, says his administration is committed to giving Ogun State a brand new agro-cargo airport before the end of the year, as runway, fire station and control tower almost ready.

Speaking recently to journalists during a press briefing at the airport, Abdulwaheed Odusile, the state commissioner for information and strategy, assured that before the end of this year, aircraft will take-off and land at the airport.

According to Odusile, Ogun State started constructing the airport from scratch in April 2021.

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“The 4km runway is almost ready, the construction of the fire station is on, the control tower and the administrative building is there and those are the essential components of an airport. Every other thing as you know is luxury and comfort.

“Even at that, you will marvel by the architectural design of the terminal building. We are not just building an airport, we are building an aerotropolis. We are bringing different people. This is a specialised airport as it will be an agro-cargo airport. Though, there is another facility for passenger operations,” he explained.

He disclosed that already, some government agencies are scrambling to be at the airport, adding that the Nigeria Air Force, the Nigeria Customs Service and many other private investors have shown interest to be at the airport.

Speaking on some of the components of the airport, he said there will be an international testing centre at the airport where all agro-produce that go out of Nigeria will be certified to comply with international standards.

He said once that is done, goods from here can be exported to anywhere in the world.

“All parcels coming into Nigeria would be flown to our airport here before they are now redistributed to any parts of Nigeria,” he added.

Also speaking at the briefing, Ade Akinsanya, commissioner for works and infrastructure, Ogun State, said the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos is one of the most difficult airports to get in to before the road was expanded, adding that for the Ogun State airport, it can be accessed through six locations; including Lagos-Sagamu, Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Epe.

“We have perimeter fencing at the airport from the beginning unlike some of the airports that we have around in Nigeria. In front of the perimeter fencing, we also have security road on both sides for patrol. We don’t want intruders coming into the airport.

“The terminal is a kind of a hybrid of what you have in Morocco and a bit of Paris and France. It is a work of art. The same thing also with the control tower – it is something unique,” Akinsanya said.

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