The Gombe State government, on Wednesday, said investment opportunities in the state will now be adequately harnessed as Air Peace launched commercial flights into the State from Lagos and Abuja.
The airline which will operate three weekly flights into the State deployed its brand new E-195 aircraft with flight number P47443 from Lagos and Abuja to Gombe and landed at the Gombe airport where several government dignitaries were present to welcome the inaugural flight.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the inaugural flight of airline into Gombe at the Sani Abacha International Airport, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, the Gombe state governor said the state shall continue to encourage, support and partner with Air Peace as the airline provides essential services to the citizens.
He assured the airline that the government and general public are ever ready to pay for services rendered by the airline at anytime, as the market forces may dictate.
The governor who was represented by the deputy governor of the State, Manassah Jatau said very soon Air Peace will need to deploy a bigger aircraft into the State because there would be increase in passenger traffic in the State as the State continues to build factories and invest in economic activities that would attract investors across Nigeria.
He said the state already has a functional cement factory while another one will soon be completed.
The governor further stated that the state has an industrial park sitting on a massive 1000 hectares of land, adding that the State would soon revive its tomato factory, all of which would attract investors, thereby increasing passenger traffic into the state
“Air Peace has come to the State that cherishes Peace, preaches Peace, practices Peace and working continuously for the maintenance of Peace, knowing too well that peace is the bedrock of all human ventures.
“Our dear state is desirous of development, and is working towards it and we all know the all important role of transportation to the human race as we engaged in the movement of persons, goods and services,” Yahaya said.
Also speaking at the event, the ground operations manager, Air Peace, Ayodeji Adeyemi, said the new route being officially flagged off means a lot to the Air Peace family as its ambition is to interconnect various cities and zones across Nigeria with seamless flights.
Adeyemi disclosed that before Air Peace decided to commence flight operations into the city, the airline carefully considered the travel needs of Nigerians, especially those in the North-East.
He noted that it’s consistent route expansion is propelled by the airline’s strong resolve to close the loopholes in Nigeria’s air travel and more importantly, give the Nigerian flying public multiple network options.
He added that with this new route, Air Peace is providing more options of connectivity for the people of Gombe State.
“Air Peace is reputed for its no-city-left-behind mantra and the goal is to ease the air travel burden of Nigerians, fostering unity and driving more healthy commercial relations between cities, which vastly impacts the country’s economy in positive ways.
He assured that the new route will be effectively serviced, and Nigerians, especially Gombe residents, will greatly benefit from it.
He said the airline will work jointly with all the stakeholders in the state to maximise the gains of the Gombe route, including employment creation.
Speaking shortly after the inaugural flight, the managing director, Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company Limited, Muawiyah Farouk, who was also a passenger on the flight said the coming of Air Peace to Gombe State will open up the state for more investment.
According to him, it will also help to open up the North Eastern part of the country, the state tourism, agro and investment potentials will also be adequately harnessed.
He said, “This administration wants to make Gombe state attractive for investment and a desired tourist destination, however, one of the things that will make us achieve this is Air Peace coming here. That will make the state attractive to investors.
“There are lots of investment opportunities in Gombe state. We are known for agro processing and cotton. Huge number of trucks leave Gombe for other parts of the country daily. We also have rice milling factories with so much potentials in the tourism sector,” he said.
Another passenger, Clara Ogunji applauded the airline for choosing Gombe State saying it has helped make her access to the state easier.
Oguji, a health interventionist, however, asked the airline operator to reconsider operating a daily flight to the airport.
She said, “The airline coming to Gombe saves me the stress of doing nine hours on the road because on a normal day it will take me nine hours to access Gombe and most of the time, I won’t want to bring my health intervention here but probably select other states. But, knowing that there is a very easy access to and from the state, there won’t be any issue. So, it a good one for me.”