Reps seek FG intervention on completion of MKO Abiola International Airport, Osun State

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•Calls for public-private partnership

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The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, underscored the need for the federal government’s support towards the timely completion of the M. K. O Abiola International Airport, located in Ido-Osun, Osun State.

The House resolution was passed after the adoption of the debate on the motion sponsored by Hon. Bamidele Salam, who harped on the need to harness the economic potential of the airport when operational.

Following the overwhelming support of the motion, the House urged the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to liaise with Osun State Government to look at the possibility of partnership on the project.

In his lead debate, Hon Salam observed that the MKO Abiola International Airport located in Ido-Osun, Egbedore Local Government of Osun State was acquired in 1933, and the first community where aviation activity took place in entire West Africa.

“The House also note that after the acquisition of the site, an airstrip, which served as take-off and landing platform for the West African Frontier Force during the Second World War, was constructed by the British Empire in the area.

“The House further note that the site spans over 839 hectares of land and is located in a flat area which the British considered as a very perfect site for Aviation activities and thereafter made the site the first landing strip in British West Africa during the preparation for the Second World War.

“The House is aware that the historical sites such as this are meant to be revitalized and preserved in order to foster the appreciation of National history and heritage.

“The House is also aware that former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s administration, in its attempt to construct a modern Airport on the same expanse of land, acquired more land but the life of that government was cut short and therefore, could not be actualised by the administration.

“The House is further aware that the subsequent administration of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola attempted to revive the moribund site of the MKO Abiola Airport, but were constrained by several factors.

“The House is worried that the 3.5 kilometres runway of the Airport had been marked, dredged with drainage on each side while many drain boxes are waiting to be fixed.

“The House is further worried that despite billions of naira already expended on the project, the Airport is currently abandoned and begging for a revival.

“The House is cognizant that Osun State has a population of over 4 million with huge tourism, economic and agricultural potential.

“The House is further cognizant that the massive potential of tourism in Osun State is capable of shoring up Nigeria and the state’s revenue in dollars and can best be encouraged with the establishment of an Airport in the state.

“The House is also cognizant that Osun state is one of the most urbanized and cosmopolitan states in Nigeria with the presence of eight leading public and private universities and several other prominent higher institutions of learning.

“The House is assured that the Airport will facilitate trade, generate economic growth and ultimately create jobs for the teaming unemployed youth in the state.

“The House is worried that the completion of this Airport will require a huge capital which the current state of finance of Osun State may not be able to accomplish.

“The House is disturbed that if nothing is done to revive the MKO Abiola Airport project in Ido-Osun, several billions of naira already spent on the project would go down the drains,” Hon. Bamidele noted.

To this end, the House mandated its Committee on Aviation chaired by Hon. Nnolim Nnaji to ensure compliance.

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Reps seek FG intervention on completion of MKO Abiola International Airport, Osun State

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