Ogun State recorded a remarkable achievement, as a first commercial flight landed at the Gateway Agro Cargo International Airport along Iperu- Ilishan road in Ikenne Local Government Area of the State on Friday, February 24.
The first flight landed at about 2.15pm to the delight of hundreds of people of the state.
The AmehNews recall that Agro Cargo Airport project was conceived during Gbenga Daniel Gbega’s administration in 2005, (18 years) abandoned by his successor Ibikunle Amosun but actualised by Dapo Abiodun.
Governor Dapo Abiodun said in his remark that the maiden test flight was one of the necessary activities leading to the full certification and licencing of the airport for safe aviation operations.
He explained that the timing of the development of the airport was not accidental, at a time the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) had become effective.
Abiodun added, “The development of this project comes at a time when the country is vigorously pursuing strategies to promote increased export activity, for which the airport would be a key point of departure for export goods.
“It comes at a time when the AfDB sponsored Special Agriculture Processing Zone was established in the airport zone in conjunction with the Federal Government, a zone to also include various industrial and logistics activity centres and termed an Aerotropolis that would benefit from airport and air transportation services.
“It comes at a time the federal government has reconstructed the Lagos to Shagamu Express Way and is on the verge of concessioning the Shagamu to Benin Express Way ensuring safe and efficient land access.
“It comes at a time the federal government is about to start developing the east to west standard gauge rail line linking Lagos to the airport and to the east of the country.
“It comes at a time the state is embarking on a sister development, the development of a Dry Port and Port City at Kajola at the junction of the Lagos to Ibadan and the proposed East to Gateway Airport to the East (Calabar) rail line, essential providing connectivity between the Apapa ports to the Airport.
“It comes at a time the federal and state governments are developing the strategic east to west highway that will connect Ilaro in Ogun West Senatorial district to the newly reconstructed Interchange to Abeokuta highway in Ogun Central via Kajola and Papalanto, sites of the Dry Port City and Dry Port, to the Gateway Agro Cargo Airport at the geographical centre of Ogun State.”
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, aapplauded the effort of the Abiodun-led government for bringing the project into reality, adding that the project would no doubt bring about economic prosperity, not only to the state but the country in general.
Osinbajo, said: “I am super proud to be a citizen of Ogun State, from Ikenne-Remo in Ikenne Local Government Area of the state. This is incredibly momentous event.
“With what we all see here this afternoon; Ogun State is definitely taking a huge step in fulfilling the dreams of our forebears. The dreams of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and others who worked with him.
“The dreams of a vibrant modern and industrious community living together in peace and prosperity. A dream of Ogun State that is the engine room of our nation’s economy, commerce and businesses.
“We must pause here to commend the first visioner of this airport, Otunba Gbenga Daniel who went as far as getting the federal government’s approval for the project.
“But it is a tribute to the wisdom and understanding of our current governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun that he took it from the idea, re envisioned its completely and in the light of the opportunities, needs and requirements and realities of today, begets the best Gateway International Agro Cargo Airport of Ogun State.
“This project is the fulfilments of the vision for building a dynamic economic area. We are now poised to provide facilities for a world class economic zone.”
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, said the airport project would add value to the Gross Domestic Product of the country, its people and their well-being.
Sirika revealed that the Mohammadu Buhari’s administration had witnessed the establishment of many airports since it came on board in 2015, stressing that the gains of the airport would engender economic prosperity of the state.