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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Thursday said that Ibadan Airport should henceforth serve as an alternative to the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos.
Makinde made this disclosure in Ibadan, when he received Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Logistics Command, Ikeja, Air Vice Marshal Olaonipekun Makinde.
He said that the airport in Ibadan should be considered as an alternative to the MM International Airport if it has all the facilities required.
Makinde while speaking however added that his administration will improve social services and expand infrastructure at the airport.
He noted that this is necessary in a bid to enhance the economic growth of the state.
Makinde while speaking further, commiserate with Air Force on the loss of officers in the recent the air accident in Abuja.
He added that one of the victims is from Oyo State.
Makinde said, “We believe that the Airport in Ibadan should serve as a true alternative airport to Lagos if it has the capacity to take the 747 aircraft. So, we have a project that we are incubating right now. We are trying to expand the runway so that bigger aircraft can land in Ibadan.
“We are also looking at Ibadan as actually becoming the hub for regional air transportation. We are trying, even within the shortest possible time, to see if we can have a connection between Ibadan and Port Harcourt.
“We are talking to Air Peace and they should be starting an operational flight from Ibadan to Abuja in the next two weeks. And Ibadan to Port Harcourt should commence once we have finalised the discussion that we are having with them.
“It means that with all these activities we are bringing to the state and the Ibadan Airport, we will need more cooperation and collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force.
“I discussed with the Chief of Air Staff when he visited me here. We talked about the Air Force Base here in Ibadan and our House of Representatives member, Hon. Abass Agboworin, who is the Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, is making efforts to bring some of these projects into fruition.
“About three days ago, I spoke with the Governor of Ogun State and we both agreed that we can fix the 11-km road that will take one from Akanran(in Oyo State) to Ijebu-igbo, Ogun State. So, what that means is that from the airport, anyone coming from the Ijebu axis would not have to even think about going to Lagos to fly.
“Let me also commiserate with the entire Air Force on the loss of your officers and men in the air accident in Abuja. One of them actually happened to be from Oyo State and we are trying to reach out to the family to give the support required.”