Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, has charged the federal government to take necessary steps to uplift the staandard of the Ibadan airport, saying making Ibadan a regional airport would boost the state and national economy.
The governor, who stated this while hosting the Joint National Assembly Committee on Aviation led to his office by the chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, said the state government had commissioned a study that clearly showed that a Public, Private Partnership arrangement would fast-track the planned upgrade of the airport to international standard.
The governor said the state was willing to carry out a turnaround of the airport if the federal government would agree to hand it over.
He noted that the Ibadan airport should readily serve as the alternate airport to Lagos, adding that instead of diverting international flights to Accra, Ghana, Ibadan would serve Nigeria better.
While enumerating possible benefits of the Ibadan airport if upgraded, Makinde outlined various efforts of his administration aimed at improving the standards of the airport, including the rehabilitation of adjoining roads as well as provision of basic facilities at the airport.
He called on the federal government to do more by collaborating with the state in its resolve to uplift the airport.
According to him, an upgraded Ibadan airport would not only impact on the state’s economy by expanding its business districts, the country would also benefit as the nation grapples to grow its non-oil economy.
“You can see the calibre of people here today. This tells us how important the issue of Ibadan airport is to us. The airport, ideally, should be the alternative airport to Lagos. So, we think if Ibadan is fixed properly, it will take away all those headaches of having to go to Ghana.
“As a government in Oyo State, we have been trying our best to do our own bit and, as a matter of fact, we have already started the process of upgrading the Ibadan airport.”