Your Excellency, Governor of Ogun State, Prince (Dr.) Dapo Abiodun, MFR
Having spent over 13 months in office as Governor of Ogun State, I deem it proper to call your attention to the on-going neglect of the very few Government essential infrastructural facilities in Ogun East amongst which in chief are :
- Olokola Free Trade Zone at Olokola, Ogun Waterside LGA.
- The Bitumen Project in Waterside LGA.
- The Deep Sea Port at Olokola, Waterside LGA.
- The Gateway Airport and Airport City at Ilishan/Iperu Remo.
- The Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu.
Sir, Looking at the above five (5) projects, I am inclined to believe that they are capable of re-inventing the wheel of economic transformation of Ogun State if concerted efforts are mobilised towards their realisation.
I am also inclined to posit that if the right cords are struck, the realisation of the projects can be achieved at a minimal cost to the purse of our Government.
Apart from the massive financial gain which will ease out dearth of funds to run other essential welfarist programmes of good governance, it will thin out unemployment of all employable citizens of Ogun State and will attract other indigenes from near and far to seek for employment in Ogun State which will further enhance commercial activities in Ogun State.
For the purpose of this time, let me speak on the on-going Gateway International Airport Ilishan Remo.
THE GATEWAY AIRPORT BRIEF
On 15th April, 2010, the Otunba Gbenga Daniel Administration awarded a contract for the construction of the Airport at Ilishan Remo in Ogun East Senatorial District of Ogun State. Approval was sought for and obtained from Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for the construction of the Airport Project.
The Feasibility Report considered amongst others, the followings:
*Corridor of Local and International Air Flights inward Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja.
*Circulation/Waiting Corridor for flights in case of flight congestion at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja and Ogun Central Senatorial District fell within this Corridor.
*Centrality and easy accessibility of the location to end users especially those from Lagos and Ibadan axis were considered so also its proximity to the busiest express road (Lagos-Ibadan Express Road) in Nigeria.
*To act as a relief to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
The Contract was to be executed as a Private Public Partnership project under a Joint Venture Agreement.
A Special Purpose Vehicle was developed to drive the project.
To the best of my understanding, financing the project was to be at a minimal and near insignificant cost to the people of Ogun State, but of immense benefits in terms of:
Employment Opportunities to all and sundry regardless of age, gender etc.
Further Industrialisation and Commercialisation of the State.
Massive increase in the revenue generation profile of the State just to mention a few.
Presently, the project remains subsisting as it has not been determined. However, there was no visible progress on this very project throughout the tenure of Sen. Ibikunle Amosun as Governor of Ogun State from 29th May, 2011 to 29th May, 2019.
No tenable or untenable reason was given for the abandonment of this laudable project except for the mere fact that it is sited in Ogun East Senatorial District.
On 16th January, 2018, almost Ten (10) years after the award of the Gateway International Airport Ilishan Remo, the Sen. Ibikunle Amosun’s Government awarded another Contract for the construction of Abeokuta International Airport at Waasinmi, Ogun State.
The Abeokuta Airport was conceptualized for political reasons only not minding its economic disadvantages.
The attendant financial burden of the Abeokuta Airport was designed to be borne by Ogun State whose lean purse has been overstretched overtime because of the so many bridges and roads the Administration embarked upon at the same time without recourse to its financial capacity and economic advantages of such projects to the people of Ogun State (Topic for another Day).
The Location is too skewed to one side and difficult to access to majority of the anticipated end users and will result in terrible traffic jam within Abeokuta the State capital.
The location did not consider its patronage by non-indigenes who will definitely form bulk of its clients.
It is not out of place at all to have two (2) Airports in Ogun State considering the ever increasing growth in population especially due to its proximity to Lagos State which is land-locked.
However, the facts remain that things must be done orderly and in equitable manner. We are all indigenes of the same State and the resources must be equitably distributed. As friends, sisters and brothers of our Egba people, I personally believe that a second Airport may be possible if all inhibitions are eliminated. This should be considered after the completion of the first (1st) conceptualized Gateway Airport at Ilishan Remo which I can confidently say will finance the second one without unnecessary financial burden on the State.
Your Excellency, Prince (Dr) Dapo Abiodun MFR, I plead on-behalf of the good people of Ogun State that as a matter of utmost urgency (with all due respect), embark on the construction of the Gateway International Airport Ilishan Remo for the benefit of all Nigerians living within and outside Ogun State. It is so desirable to have commenced like twelve (12) months ago.
Excellency Sir, a lot of feasibility studies have been done on this project which can just be reviewed within one (1) week and actions taken. It is very achievable Sir.
Hon. John Obafemi