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Afe Babalola heads panel on Ekiti airport

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has inaugurated a nine-man committee, chaired by the legal luminary, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), to examine the possibility of establishing an airport in the state.

He said his administration is committed to the transport sector as a key area in the state’s development.

The governor said his administration has invested heavily in road construction and rehabilitation in the 16 local government areas to drive home its commitment to the development of the transport sector.

Dr. Fayemi said the proposed airport would bring Ekiti State into the limelight with its emerging economy and attract investors as well as tourists, who have flair for comfort.

He noted that though the establishment of an airport would require a lot of money, the state government, through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, would accomplish the task.

The governor said the airport has become necessary as the Federal Government is establishing an Export Conditioning Centre and a silo in the state while the Ikogosi Resort would also attract many visitors and tourists.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Olayinka Oyebode, listed the terms of reference of the committee as: examining the viability and feasibility of an airport in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, and proposing a practical implementation roadmap for same.

Fayemi was optimistic that when the Ikogosi Resort becomes functional, the proposed airport would market it. A South African hotel management group has agreed to manage the resort for the government.

Babalola described the inauguration as “historic in the history of Ekiti State”.

He noted that the project is dear to members of the committee.

The eminent lawyer tied the lack of industries in the state and the failure of the take-off of the Ikogosi Resort to the absence of an airport.

“There is an urgent need for meaningful industrial development in Ekiti by involving foreign developers from China, Europe, Japan, the Middle East and America. Any foreigner who comes to Ekiti with the intention of establishing an industry and who comes through Lagos by road to Ado-Ekiti or from Abuja by road, otherwise called the death traps, would never come back to Ekiti,” he said.

Other members of the committee are: Sir Remi Omotoso, Afolabi Esan, Segun Ologunleko, Femi Tolani, Kayode Jegede, Babajide Arowosafe, Jide Adeniji and Capt. Bolaji Agbelusi.

-The Nation

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