Oyo government rallies behind concession of Ibadan Airport

The Oyo State government has endorsed the Federal Government’s plan to concession airports in the country as part of measures to deepen efficiency.

Governor of the state, ’Seyi Makinde, said the critical high-end infrastructures are central to the economic development of each state and deserving of all investments possible.

Makinde, at the 40th anniversary of Ibadan Airport recently, said Oyo State would support concession of the airport, “should it get listed among airports for concession.”

Recall that the Federal Government has since 2016 begun efforts to concession airports nationwide, beginning with the big four in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.

Makinde said, in the interim, the state government had been committed to the expansion and development of the Ibadan airport, as a contiguous facility to Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.

The government had, at different times, made donations of a fire vehicle, service vehicle, construction of 500,000 litres aviation fuel storage and dispensing facility, among others.

Another priority is the access road to the aerodrome. Makinde said: “Getting a taxi from this airport has always been a challenge before we came into government. Taxis are always hard to get because of the small traffic (air passengers). But, let me make this promise here and now; as soon as we complete the Iwo Road bus terminal, there will always be a public bus from here to the terminal and it will be cheap as well.

“Another vision we have for this airport is ease of getting in and out of this airport and also to attract others to come and use the Airport. And that is why the road from the airport to Ajia, with a spur to Amuloko, is supposed to target people from Ijebu-ode and Ijebu-igbo to use the airport.

“Once that road is completed, people from Ijebu-Ode will only take about 35 minutes of travel time to get here. Also, we are collaborating with the Osun State government to fix the Ibadan-Iwo-Osogbo road, which is the shortest distance between Osogbo and here. Rather than Osogbo people trying to travel down to Akure, they can come to Ibadan Airport. So, they are being targeted as well,” Makinde said.

He reiterated that the aerodrome remains central to the economic development plan of Oyo State, and would continue to partner with the Federal Airport Authorities of Nigeria (FAAN) to put it in good shape.

“This is supposed to be an alternative airport to Lagos. As a government, we will continue to support the expansion of the airport and if, by any chance, they list Ibadan Airport as one of the airports to be concessioned, be sure that the Oyo State government will go for it,” Makinde said

The Managing Director and Chief Executive of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, who was represented by Adenike Aboderin, appreciated the governor and his cabinet for their tremendous efforts and supports toward the uplift of the airport.

He reiterated FAAN’s commitment to the state government, saying they would keep doing their best while counting on the continuous support of all stakeholders.

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