Barring any minute change, Ogun State Cargo International airport located at Ilisan Remo may be ready for flight take-off and landing by the end of 2022.
Dropping this hint at the airport construction site on Wednesday, the state Commissioner for Works, Mr Ade Akinsanya, equally said the airport runway will be completed by the end of July 2022.
Conducting some journalists round the airport projects, the commissioner who gave the size of the airport runway as 4 kilometers which makes it longer than the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos declared that the works on the runway have reached 90 percent completion.
The airport when completed and commissioned next year will fall into a Category E Class status which will make it accessible to aircraft as big as B777 and Airbus 350 for landing easily.
Also speaking on the occasion, Commissioner for Information in the state, Waheed Odusile, described the airport construction project as the fastest air transport infrastructure to be executed in view of the pace at which works were being carried out at the site.
He declared: “The airport is real, by the grace of God, before the end of this year, aircraft will take off and land on this airport. That will be the first of its kind in the country. This airport would be the fastest-built airport in Nigeria. We started the construction of this airport from the scratch and we started in April 2021. This airport would be an international airport in all ramifications.
“The four-kilometre runway is almost ready, the construction of the fire station is on, the control tower and the administrative building are there and those are the critical components of an airport. Every other thing as you know is luxury and comfort.
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“We are not just building an airport, we are building an aerotropolis. We are bringing different people and don’t forget, this is a specialised airport as it will be an agro-cargo airport. Though, there is another facility for passenger operations. We are taking everything that will make it viable and profitable into consideration.
“Already, some agencies of the government are scrambling to be here and I can tell you for a fact, the Nigeria Air Force is already looking forward to be here, the Nigeria Customs Service and so many other private investors. This will be the only truly agro-cargo airport in Nigeria.
“There will be an international testing centre here where all agro-produce that go out of Nigeria will come here and be certified in compliance with international standards. So, once that is done, goods from here can be exported to part of the world.”
Talking on what makes the Agro airport the first of its kind in the sub-region, Odusile cited many facilities including a standard agro-processing infrastructure, its proximity for easy access to travelers and seamless operations for courier companies.
“All parcels coming into Nigeria would be flown to our airport here before they are now redistributed to any part of Nigeria. You can also see the location of the airport, where we are now is about the centre of Ogun State. At the airport on the western side, you will see the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, on the southern side, you have the Sagamu–Benin Expressway. So, whichever way you want to approach the airport, the logistics of that is easy to Lagos, which is the fifth-largest economy in Africa and Nigeria’s largest economy. To the hinterland, you have easy access, if you want to go to the east, north and other parts of the western it is easy.
“So, goods coming in and out of our surrounding states will come here and this will also decongest Lagos and it will spread development across the country, especially for us in Ogun State, as Governor Dapo Abiodun is desirous of industrializing Ogun State.”
Another reason Odusile gave for saying the airport will have no rival in the areas of profitability and enabler of development for the state in particular and the country as a whole was based on the number of industries and fertile land areas the state is endowed with which he said made all business moves achievable.
“We claim and rightly so to be the industrial capital of Nigeria. We want to use this airport to complement that. This airport is also an important component of our transportation master plan, which will bring together rail, road and water transportation. This airport is not just a stand-alone airport, it is also being supported by other transportation facilities that we are building in Ogun State.
“This is part of our five pillars of development in Ogun State called ISEYA, an acronym for Infrastructure, Social welfare, Education, Youth Empowerment and Agriculture and food security. With these five pillars, we have been able to touch the lives of our people in different ways.”
The total landmass for the airport is about 5,000 hectares of land while the runway has about four layers with different classes of MM with about 65mm of asphalt just as the second layer is about 50mm of asphalt and the next being about 100mm of asphalt.