The first aircraft, ATR 42 Nigeria Air Force plane, has landed at the newly commissioned Ekiti Airport runway will open up the state to partake actively in global commerce and tourism, a dream come true for the Ekiti residents.
Penpushing reports that, the first aircraft, ATR 42 Nigeria Air Force plane piloted by Flight Lieutenant E.A. Balogun, and landed at the airport’s runway at exactly 10.20 a.m. amidst cheers and excitement by eminent guests, government officials and members of the public who came to witness the historic occasion.
The citizens and residents of the state were not left out of the historic events, as they thronged to the Ekiti State Agro Allied International Cargo Airport during the commissioning which took place on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti.
Penpushing further reports that the excited residents and guests were seen taken pictures shortly after the plane landed and taxied to the tarmac, while Aviation Minister and officials of the agencies, disembarked from the aircraft.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, at the inauguration said the airport will open up the state to partake actively in global commerce and tourism, if fully harnessed and managed, adding that the Nigerian government would site a cargo facility at the airport. ,.
Penpushing also reports that, Sirika described the airport as an extremely very important project which would in turn facilitate import and export of goods and commodities, recalling that when he was on the site for groundbreaking in October 2019, there were divergent views as to the viability of the project, saying airports are being used as one-city nation-states in the world to drive their economy.
“I use to make an assertion, that one mile long road leads to nowhere, but one mile runway leads to everywhere. You see, I came here today through the runway of this airport provided by Gov. Fayemi. There is future with this project- market and trade can drive everybody here.
Penpushing further reports that, the Minister pointed out that with an airport here, it would connect people to this facility and reduce foreign medical tourism, stressing that airport are by no means the best catalysts for economic growth of any state or nation.
“Airports are by no means the best catalysts for economic growth of any state or nation. 35 per cent of global trade by value is moved through airports and 18.6 dollar billion of cargo is moved daily through air transportation. The wealthy among you should take to agriculture for example and begin to produce things that you will be exported to other parts of the world.
“You can be land-locked, but you cannot be sky-locked. We can all see the importance of having a facility like this. Thank you, Mr Governor, you have provided this facility for the people of Ekiti; they should own it’, Sirika said.
Penpushing also reports that, Governor Kayode Fayemi who was excited over the feat declared that his job was done, and expressed satisfaction that the project eventually saw the light of the day 10 years after its conception during his first administration in 2012.
The Chairman, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Zhang Zichen which handled the project, in his remarks praised the administration for the vision which he said would change the face of the state economy.
Penpushing reports that, Zichen explained that the airport was not just a project, but the engine of the economy of the state, adding that it would open up Ekiti State to more development and investment to the benefit of the state and business community.
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