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Constructing More Airports By State Govts Fraudulent

State governors who have indicated interest in building new airports have continued to receive knocks from key players across the sector who have argued that such a move is counter productive in view of the many capital projects that would be beneficial to the majority of the masses in the states that are being neglected.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, a renowned labour leader, Comrade Olayinka Abioye, described the rush for construction of additional airports by state governments as aberration and fraudulent.

In recent times, no fewer than 15 state governors in Nigeria have announced plans to construct agro-cargo airports alone. Among the states are Ondo, Rivers, Kwara, Taraba, Plateau, Kano, Benue, Niger, Imo, Anambra, Akwa Ibom and Ogun.

Abioye specifically queried the plan of the Edo State government to construct another airport at Auchi, wondering if the facilities of the existing Benin Airport was overstretched by users.

Like many opponents of the governors’ decisions, Abioye insisted that what most of the states required were good road networks and train services for the transportation of farm produce and commuters.

While accusing most of the state governors of failing to carry out adequate feasibility studies before embarking on the airport project, the union leader said, “For instance, we have Benin Airport, how well have we utilised the airport? Does it mean that Benin Airport is not satisfying all indigenes of Edo State? The answer is no. What is the essence of setting up another airport in Auchi?

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“What we need are good roads that can move people around. Good a thing, the Federal Government has also assented to some laws giving states the authority to construct railways. What we need more is railways, particularly more so when we don’t have good roads. Railways will transport far more people than road transportation.

“I see the establishment of more airports by state governors as an aberration. It sis a very fraudulent action and a way for them to cover their tracks so that they will tell people that they have expended some billions of naira on the capital project.”

For instance, Abioye explained that the cargo-allied airport commissioned by Dr Kayode Fayemi, the former governor of Ekiti State in October 2022, was yet to commence operations six months after.

The multi-billion naira cargo airport is cited almost close to the Afe Babalola University in the state capital and awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. CCECC (CCECC) in 2019.

Abioye however called for the total overhaul of the entire system by the incoming government, decrying that Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation had failed in the last eight years of the present administration.

Source: Tribune


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