Yesterday, the first commercial flight took off from Gateway Agro-Cargo Airport, which is situated along Iperu-Lishan Road in Ikenne Local Council, Ogun State. Speaking at the event, the governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, said the airport represented the realization of a dream held by the late governor Gbenga Daniel. He also said the development of the airport was in line with his administration’s goal of creating an environment that would encourage businesses to not only locate in the state but also to experience success.
Abiodun said that the airport’s location would make it simple for people to travel there from various sections of the state and that it would also give them access to the country’s Eastern and Northern regions.
The governor emphasized that the Ogun International Agro Cargo Airport will be essential in accomplishing the goal while also stating that the nation is working to enhance exports of goods and services.
He noted that his administration is also pursuing the start of a dry port in Kajola, in Ogun Central Senatorial District, while stressing that the airport is a component of an integrated development package meant to unlock the full potential of the state.
“Another complementary transportation infrastructure project being pursued is the development of the dry port at Kajola in Ogun Central. This dry port will be on the Lagos/Ibadan rail line in the Kajola Free Trade Zone (FTZ), which was also established by Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
“We have also commenced the process of constructing the Olokola Port. This will go a long way in easing port congestion and make Apapa Port more efficient. No doubt, this airport will become the alternative airport to the Murtala Muhammad International Airport and is already being considered as the terminal for non-oil exports in the country,” he submitted.
The airport was praised as a world-class endeavor by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Osinbajo also said that the Kajola Dry Port would start operations in a few months.
The vice president stated that the state had made significant progress toward realizing the aspirations of the ancestors to have a thriving, contemporary, and productive community, referring to the cargo airport as the state’s dream because it serves as the center of the country’s economy, trade, and business.
“This airport isn’t just the best in Nigeria, it is a world-class airport that we are here to see. Ogun has definitely taken a huge step in fulfilling the dreams of our forebears, the dreams of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and others, the dreams of a vibrant modern and industrious community leaving together in peace and prosperity, a dream of Ogun State that is the engine room of our nation’s economy and our nation’s commerce and business.
“In a few months, the Kajola Dry Port will also be operational and I am confident that this airport will transform the entire South West region and serve as catalyst for economic growth and development of our nation and sub region,” he said.
Osinbajo stated that the government is prepared to offer facilities for a world-class economic zone, noting that an airport is merely an infrastructure for developing a dynamic economic area.
The Vice President revealed that the airport is a crucial tool in the country’s preparation for full participation as significant players in the African Continental Free Trade Area while noting that the airport would serve the special agro processing zone, which was recently established with the kind assistance of the African Development Bank (AfDB) (AfCFTA).
Sen. Hadi Abubakar Sirika, the minister of aviation, said in his remarks that airports have a way of bringing people and businesses together. He noted that the airport was the result of discussions about how to advance the socioeconomic advancement of the state’s citizens.
The benefits of the airport, according to Sirika, cannot be measured because they will not be realized right away but rather in the future when it is possible to transport cargo from one location to another.
Chief Olusegun Osoba, a former governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), praised Governor Abiodun for continuing the work started by his predecessor and for believing in continuity. He called Governor Abiodun the actualizer of dreams.
According to Ade Akinsanya, commissioner for works and infrastructure, the airport is designed to give farmers a way to export their goods abroad, boosting the social economy of the region and its residents.
The Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the chairman of the Council of Obas, urged the state’s citizens to support Abiodun for a second term, saying the historic projects he had started over the previous three and a half years showed that if he continued for another term, the best was yet to come.
In addition to praising Abiodun for realizing the ambition of the airport, former governor Daniel and the APC candidate for Ogun East Senatorial Zone both expressed their satisfaction and encouraged Osinbajo to use his position to assist the state in realizing its own dream of a deep sea port.