The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday commissioned the Multi-billion Naira Jigawa State International Airport to further enhance economic growth.
- Airport was commissioned on Tuesday
- Jonathan commends state for completing the project in a short period of time
- Airport will handle both passengers and cargo flights
- Jonathan says airport is inline with his transformation agenda
- It will serve as alternative entry point in the north-west geopolitical zone
At the commissioning ceremony in Dutse, the state’s capital, President Jonathan said that the airport meant to handle both passengers and cargo flights in and out of Nigeria would improve the economic life of the people.
The Nigerian government had reiterated its commitment to making Nigeria a major hub in the aviation sector in West Africa and Africa as a whole.
President Jonathan said: “These days its possible for Business men to have breakfast in London, lunch in Germany and dinner in another part due to the availability of airports and its transport services and the Jigawa airport is bound to provide the same business support services. We will work for the safety of the airport to avoid unnecessary accident”.
Jonathan expressed happiness over the speed in construction of the project, which he said was completed within a short period of time. He promised to reasonably support the state government in the 15 billion Naira spent on the project.
“Although the Federal Government cannot completely overwrite the total 15.5 billion Naira committed to the Dutse International Airport project, we will try to support the expenditure robustly, more so because it was part of my campaign promise to the people that I was going to build new airports in the six geopolitical zones in the country,” President Jonathan said.
He expressed gratitude for the classical development going on in the state which he said was in line with the transformation agenda of the government at the federal level and promised to continue to support the state.
“We have supported the state in the areas ecological fund, agriculture and education and I promise we ill continue to do more for the state.”
Most peaceful state
President Jonathan said Jigawa state was the most peaceful state in Nigeria as it had less crime compared to other states especially the in the northern part of the nation.
“I thank the traditional intuition for their encouraging peace in Jigawa because they are the closest to the people at the grassroots. They have preached peace and encouraged the people to follow the same. I also encourage youths in the state to do everything that will bring peace to the state and the nation in general. Jonathan admonished.
The governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido said the airport was fully equipped with fire fighting equipments and modern tarred 3.5 kilometer runway capable of handling Boeing and jumbo aircraft as well as air traffic control, customs and immigration facilities among others.
“In addition we have entered into a memorandum of understanding with overland air services to begging commercial flight three times in a week” I regard this airport as the 8th wonder of the century in Nigeria because it was built in 13 months a feat never achieved before in Nigeria’s construction of airports,” Lamido explained.
The Airport apart from local services has witnessed international flight by taking pilgrims to Saudi Arabia and back during the recent Hajj operation.
Alternative entry point in Nigeria’s north-west
The Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidioka, said the airport was significance because it represents the transformation agenda of the Jonathan’s government especially the transportation of fresh agricultural produce.
“The ministry of aviation has commenced the construction of the cargo terminal of the airport to enhance the transportation of fresh farm produce within and outside the country. The plan will encourage large scale farming and subsequently provide employment for our teeming youths,” Chidioka stated
The Chairman Jigwawa State Development Corporation, Mr Bashiru, who was in charge of the project, said the airport would serve as alternative entry point in the north-west geopolitical zone.
The airport project was commissioned exactly 11: 20 local time by the president Goodluck Ebee Jonathan.