By Yinka Adeniran, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde yesterday urged the Federal Government to uplift the standard of the Ibadan airport.
He said turning the airport to a regional airport would benefit the state and the national economy.
The governor, who spoke in his office while hosting the Joint National Assembly Committee on Aviation, led by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, said his administration had commissioned a study that showed that a Public, Private Partnership arrangement would fast-track the planned upgrading of the airport to an international standard.
He said the state was willing to lead the charge to turn around the airport if the Federal Government would agree to hand it over.
Makinde said the Ibadan Airport should serve as an alternate airport to Lagos, adding that instead of diverting international flights to Accra in Ghana, Ibadan would serve Nigeria better.
Enumerating the benefits of the airport if upgraded, he explained the efforts of his administration aimed at improving the standard of the airport, including the rehabilitation of adjoining roads as well as provision of basic facilities at the airport.
He advised the Federal Government to collaborate with the state government in its resolve to uplift the airport.
Sen. Adeyemi praised Governor Makinde’s vision, which he said is helping to turn around the state’s economy.
Ha said the committee observed encroachment on the airport land and the need to enhance safety of the airport and upgrade its equipment.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, stressed the economic importance of upgrading the nation’s airports, particularly as an alternative to road transportation due to the prevailing challenges of insecurity.