The minister of aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, has declared that the perishable cargo and aerotropolis initiative are the keys to the true development of the Nigerian Aviation sector. Oduah was speaking in Calabar during an inspection tour of the newly remodeled Chief Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar.
Aviation, the minister contended, has the brightest potential, through the aerotropolis and perishable cargo programmes, to bring about a bottom-up growth and development of the Nigerian society. She said the perishable cargo terminal at the Calabar airport would provide a platform for farmers in the state and the neighbouring communities to live a good life beyond mere survival or existence.
“Cross River state is known for its agriculture produce ranging from pineapples, bananas, plantain, cocoa, yam, cassava, etc. Today, much of what the farmers produce here is either grossly underpriced or rots away as a result of lack of local capacity to absorb the huge harvest. But with the perishable cargo taking off here in a matter of months, farmers would begin to secure real value for their hard work as their farm produce will find their way to the biggest cities and supermarkets not only in Nigeria but also in Europe and America,” Oduah declared.
she added that the value chain that would result from this is very immense. “Just imagine the industries that would spring up to service this terminal like the packaging companies, transportation hubs, as well as the grocery stores that will feed off this facility. Thousands of jobs will be created and the entire landscape of this wonderful city will be greatly enhanced; the possibilities are indeed endless,” the minister stated, and expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the airport.