15th October, 2022
With its 3.2 kilometres of the runway and terminal building, an aircraft will, for the first time this morning, land at the Ekiti State Agro-Cargo International Airport, Ado Ekiti.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, who will hand over power on Sunday 16 October, will commission it today. It occupies a 5,000-hectare of land along the Ado-Ijan road in the state capital, not far from Afe Babalola University and Federal Polytechnic in the city. The road leading to the place has also been constructed and all are ready for commissioning.
According to Fayemi, “it is a dream come true, not only for this administration but also for Ekiti-kete and the generation yet unborn.”
He added that the idea of having a functional and desirable Airport in Ekiti State dates back to April 12, 2010, when the then administration of Engineer Segun Oni communicated its intention to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
The project could not take off then for some avoidable bottlenecks.
Fayemi went further: “Upon assumption of office in 2018, I met this obstacle but immediately dealt with it directly by appointing Aviation industry personnel to drive our vision of a viable Airport project for Ekiti State.
“Afterwards, the Airport project began and was purpose-built to an excellent standard. Though projected to be an Agro-Based Cargo airport, this does not foreclose commercial passenger operations. The Airport boast a CAT-9 4E category with a capacity for wide-bodied Aircraft like Boeing 747-400 and a runway length of 3.2km.
“This airport will open Ekiti to the world and stimulate the growth of other sectors such as tourism, agriculture and commerce. There are also medical tourist opportunities using the world-class facilities at Afe Babalola University. Ekiti Agro-Cargo Airport will complement the Murtala Mohammed International airport in Lagos in service, most especially in the agro-dominated South Western region of Nigeria.
“This is in addition to increased economic activities through the provision of employment by annexing the commercial draw-down values associated with air transportation. Despite the lean resources of the state, with prudence and natural endowment, the oak has sprung up in the desert. Ekiti has been well positioned on the Aviation world Map with this vision. I welcome you all to Ekiti Agro-Cargo International Airport, Ado-Ekiti. Certainly, a dream has come true! “
In 2019 when the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika was present during the take-off of the project, he said, “Airport project brings businesses and drives the economy. It employs and strengthens the economy, so we are going to make a success of this project. The federal government will support everything about this project, particularly the cargo aspect of it because the good atmospheric condition of Ekiti and the lurching vegetation and good soil will help to produce farm products that can be exported within and outside the country.
“The per capita income for Ekiti shows how viable the state is economic. So the siting of an airport is not by size alone, but by viability. Apart from this, Ekiti is 750 feet above sea level and in the aviation industry, it is believed that this will help to produce good oxygen for aeroplanes to perform optimally. The federal government is ready to support this project and it shall be a success.”