BusinessDay

FG to compensate Nasarawa for constructing cargo airport, plans taking over facility

...as hydrocarbons, coal discovery brightens state’s fortune

The Federal Government says it is going to compensate Nasarawa State Government of the money spent in building the Cargo and commercial Airport in Lafia, the state capital.

This is just as the Federal Government has announced its plan to take over ownership of the facility in the state.

Governor Abdullahi Sule, who played host to elders of Alago Nation, one of the ethnic groups in the state, at the Government House, Lafia, announced the Federal Government decision, saying Federal Government is willing to take over the cargo airport and to compensate the state of the money spent accordingly.

President Buhari had in February, 2022 commissioned the Lafia cargo airport, during his 2-day working visit to the state, and that was the last time the facility was put to use.

BusinessDay findings revealed that a lot is still needed to put in place for the cargo airport to fully be operational, as some of the facilities are yet to be installed.

The project which started in 2015 by the administration of Umar Tanko Almakura and completed by Governor Sule, was reported to have spent N10 billion for the completion of the cargo airport.

“Following concerted attempts by his administration to find use for the completed Lafia Cargo Airport, the efforts finally paid off with President Muhammadu Buhari announcing the decision by the Federal Government to take over the facility.

“Not only that, the Federal Government has agreed to fully compensate the state for the money expended in building the airport, the governor added.

The cargo airport, if fully operational, it will increase the revenue profile of the state, attracts more investments, boost commercial activities, create job opportunities to youths and women, and will improve the economy and living condition of the people.

Read also: Ogun cargo airport to begin operations before end of 2022

Governor Sule, however expressed confidence that, the future of the state lies in oil and gas, essentially, because of the discovery of commercial quantity of hydrocarbons in Obi local government area of the state.

According to the Governor, “Nasarawa State is blessed when it comes to the area of oil and gas, following the discovery that the initial discovery of hydrocarbons in Keana has extended into some areas in the Benue trough into Obi, Agwatashi and Aloshi parts of the state.

He said, with his experience in the oil and gas industry, it is amazing and unprecedented, for coal deposits to foreshadow substantial oil and gas deposit as it was discovered in Agwatashi area of the state.

“They thought it was just going to be coal in that area but because of the presence of coal that is foreshadowing, and this is the first time in history, with my little knowledge of oil and gas, that I am seeing coal actually covering hydrocarbons and gas.

“This is some amazing discovery that have not seen in other places. Believe me, I had the opportunity of seeing oil and gas activities in various states and that’s what took me to Ukraine.

“In Agwatashi area, the coal is now on top of the hydrocarbon. It’s a big oil. In engineering, it’s a beautiful thing for us,” he explained.

In a remark, the leader of the Alago Elders, Hussani Egyagbola, said their visit was to commend the Governor on the successful conduct of the party’s primary elections, as well as his sterling performance during the national convention of the party.

Egyagbola said, the Alago nation are particularly happy with the governor for building critical infrastructure such as the Agbashi road which has defied solutions by previous administrations, as well as the Assakio road.

He explained that the Alago nation deeply appreciate the Governor for attracting corporations and businesses to their land, especially the activities and exploration by the NNPC in Keana, Obi and Agwatashi.

Egyagbola pointed out that, the Alago Elders delegation cut across party lines because the Alago nation are happy with the present administration and assured that they will support the governor 100percent when the time comes.

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