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Reps urge FG to take over MKO Abiola Airport

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to take over the completion of the MKO Abiola Airport, Ido-Osun, Osun State.

It also asked the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to liaise with the Osun State Government to look at the possibility of partnership on the project and urged the House Committee on Aviation to ensure compliance.

These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Bamidele Salam (PDP, Osun) at plenary on Wednesday.

Presenting the motion, Salam noted that the MKO Abiola International Airport is situated in Ido-Osun, Egbedore Local Government of Osun State Andy and it was acquired in 1933 as the first community where aviation activity took place in the entire West Africa.

He also noted that after the acquisition of the site, an airstrip, which served as take-off and landing platform for the West African Frontier Force during the Second World War, was constructed by the British Empire in the area.

The lawmaker further noted that the site spans over 839 hectares of land and is located in a flat area which the British considered as a very perfect site for Aviation activities and thereafter made the site the first landing strip in British West Africa during the preparation for the Second World War.

Salam said he was: “Aware that the historical sites such as this are meant to be revitalized and preserved to foster the appreciation of National history and heritage.

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“Also aware that former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s administration, in its attempt to construct a modern Airport on the same expanse of land, acquired more land but the life of that government was cut short and therefore, could not be actualised by the administration.

“Further aware that the subsequent administration of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola attempted to revive the moribund site of the MKO Abiola Airport, but were constraint by several factors.

“Worried that the 3.5 kilometres runway of the Airport had been marked, dredged with drainage on each side while many drain boxes are waiting to be fixed.

“Further worried that despite billions of naira already expended on the project, the Airport is currently abandoned and begging for a revival.

“Cognizance that Osun State has a population of over 4 million with huge tourism, economic and agricultural potential.

“Further cognizance that the massive potential of tourism in Osun State is capable of shoring up Nigeria and the state’s revenue in dollars and can best be encouraged with the establishment of an Airport in the state.

“Also cognizance that Osun state is one of the most urbanized and cosmopolitan states in Nigeria with the presence of eight leading public and private universities and several other prominent higher institutions of learning.

“Assured that the Airport will facilitate trade, generate economic growth, and ultimately create jobs for the teaming unemployed youth in the State.

“Worried that the completion of this Airport will require a huge capital which the current state of finance of Osun State may not be able to accomplish.

“Disturbed that if nothing is done to revive the MKO Abiola Airport project in Ido-Osun, several billions of Naira already spent on the project would go down the drains”.

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