The Airport Committee members with the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi on Monday inaugurated a nine-man committee chaired by legal luminary, Aare Afe Babalola, to look into the possibility of siting an airport in the State as soon as possible.
Speaking while inaugurating the Committee at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, the Governor said that his administration was committed to the transport sector which according to him is key to the development of the State, hence government’s huge investment in road construction and rehabilitation in the 16 local government areas of the State.
Dr. Fayemi said the proposed airport would bring the State into limelight with its emerging economy and attract investors as well as tourists who have flair for comfort.
He added that though the establishment of an airport would require a lot of money, the State Government through a Public-Private Partnership arrangement could establish the airport, especially now that an Export Conditioning Centre and a Silo are being established by the federal government in the State as well as Ikogosi resort make it a necessity for Ekiti State to have an airport.
The terms of reference of the Committee included examining the viability and feasibility of an airport in Ado Ekiti, the State capital and propose a practical implementation roadmap for same.
The Governor expressed optimism that when the Ikogosi resort is fully functional, the proposed airport would help to market it, especially now that a South African hotel management group has agreed to manage the resort for the state government.
In his acceptance speech, the Chairman of the Committee and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola described the inauguration has “historic in the history of Ekiti State”, adding that Ekiti project is one that is dear to all the members of the committee.
Babalola added that the major reason why Ikogosi resort has not succeeded and the lack of industries in the State was not unconnected to the absence of an airport in the State.
“There is urgent need for meaningful industrial development in Ekiti by involving foreign developers from China, Europe, Japan, Middle East and America. Any foreigner who comes to Ekiti with the intention of establishing industry in Ekiti state and who comes through Lagos by road to Ado Ekiti or from Abuja by road to Ado Ekiti making use of high ways otherwise known as death traps would never come back to Ekiti again,” the legal icon said of the need for an airport.
Aare Babalola however assured of the preparedness of the committee to examine the issue of an airport so that the State could have access to the fastest means of transportation.
Other members of the committee are Sir Remi Omotoso, Mr. Afolabi Esan, Engr. Segun Ologunleko, Mr. Femi Tolani, Mr. Kayode Jegede, Mr. Babajide Arowosafe, Engr. Jide Adeniji and Captain Bolaji Agbelusi.