Nasarawa State multibillion-naira cargo airport near Lafia, the state capital, will be completed by the end of the year and also resume business activities.
This was disclosed to newsmen on Friday, March 26, 2021, by the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, who took the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on a tour of the airport.
The minister was at the airport site on the side-lines of his two-day visit to Nasarawa to inspect Farin Ruwa Waterfalls and promote its tourism and investment potential.
“We agree that this airport is one of the most important projects that we can complete, despite the fact that building an airport is very costly and will cost us a lot of money.
“Hopefully, we will have a control cabin brought in and built in the next few months, and once that is completed, we will have other aeronautical equipment in operation.
“The runway is 2,2 kilometres long, but we intend to expand it to 2.5 kilometres so that all types of freight planes can land here.
“The first flight arrived on May 29, 2019, and since then, other planes have landed.
“We anticipate completely opening the airport for operations before the end of the year,” he said.
The airport, according to the deputy governor, was designed to improve the state’s economy and provide an alternative to the airport in the Federal Capital Territory.
Mr Phillip Dada, the Commissioner for Works, agreed with Akabe, saying that the airport was built with cargo in mind because of the state’s agricultural economy and solid mineral endowment.
“The idea is to build a cargo airport to enable farmers, investors, and business people to transport their produce, materials, and goods to markets outside the state.
“We also have plans to make the airport available for other schedules, especially domestic flights, though we hope that, by God’s grace, it will be upgraded in time for even international flights,” he said.
The commissioner told the public that the initiative, which began five years ago, would be finished by the end of the year.
The minister congratulated the state government on the airport, stating that investing in such a project was a wise move that would help the state’s economic growth.
According to the minister, the airport will support the state’s tourism growth by opening it up to the rest of the world.
Alhaji Nuhu Kangiwa, Director-General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), and Mr Folorunsho Coker, Director-General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, were among the minister’s entourage.
Messrs Segun Adeyemi and Williams Adeleye, Special Advisers to the President assigned to the minister, also accompanied him on the visit.