President Mohammadu Buhari-led Federal Government on Thursday 5th September 2019 approved the request for the construction of a new International Airport in Ebonyi State.
An approval letter from the Safety and Technical Policy Department of Federal Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) dated September 5, 2019, and obtained by our correspondent on Friday, said the endorsement followed a request by the state government and subsequent visit to the proposed site by the technical team from the ministry and its agencies.
The letter signed by the Director, Safety and Technical Policy, Capt. T. Alkali and addressed to Governor David Umahi, stated that the ministry and its agencies must be carried along at every stage of developing the airport to ensure compliance with the stipulated standards.
“I am directed to convey the approval of the Honourable Minister of Aviation for the construction of a state-owned/financed International Airport on the inspected site”, he wrote.
The Minister however noted that the approval is subject to the State Government’s fulfillment of certain requirements.
He listed the requirements as: strict compliance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority requirements; compliance with all relevant environmental regulations, adherance to the provisions of the subsisting Civil Aviation Act 2006, Nigeria Civil Aviation Policy 2013 and other regulations that may evolve with time; and payment of statutory fees.
Other requirements according to the Minister include: Issuance of Security Clearance fro the Department of State Services(DSS); removal of all obstructions on the site and involvement of the Ministry and its relevant agencies at every stage of the development of the airport to ensure compliance with Standards and Recommend Practices (SARPs).
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Umahi, Emmanuel Uzor said “With the approval all is now set for the smooth take-off of the construction of the airport.
The airport is to be sited at a large expanse of land at the boundary between Ezza South and Ezza North local government areas.
The approval has ignited jubilations from stakeholders and residents of the state as the project will spur economic activities.
The House of Representatives Committee on Reformatory Institutions and member representing Ezza South Federal Constituency, Hon. Lazarus Ogbee has lauded the Federal government for approving the construction of international cargo airport by the Ebonyi State government.
In a statement issued in Abakaliki, the lawmaker noted that he was delighted on the approval of the airport by the Federal government, adding that the project was historically important for the economic development and growth of the state.
He expressed optimism that the project was one of the major landmark legacies of the Governor David Umahi’s administration.
Ogbee therefore commended Governor Umahi for his foresight and commitment to embarking on the airport project which will spur economic growth of the state.
The Lawmaker further expressed satisfaction that the choice of the boundaries of Ezza South and Ezza North council areas would definitely open up economic opportunities and development of the area.
“The approval of the International Airport by the Federal government is historically important for Ebonyi state. It marks a new era in the history of Ebonyi State. I want to commend the Federal government for this historical feat.
“I want to deeply convey my heartfelt congratulations to Ebonyi state government under the leadership of Governor David Umahi for making our dear state a shining example to all”.
“With the standard with which Governor Umahi is known for in all his projects, I have no doubt that the airport will be one of the best International Airport in Nigeria. The project will also advance economic opportunities and growth of not only the host communities but the entire state,” Ogbee said.