Aminat Yahaya —
Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika yesterday on behalf of the Nigerian government, presented an official Letter of Approval for the construction of the proposed Lekki-Epe International Airport to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Sirika presented the letter to the governor at the 9th Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit, held in Lagos.
The Lekki Airport, to be constructed around the Lekki Free Zone (LFZ), is expected to assist manufacturers and other business owners within the zone to transport their products abroad.
The minister said that Lagos State was very significant to the economy of the country, adding that the Murtala Muhammed Airport was currently congested.
According to him, Lagos has the resources and exigencies for an additional airport which will help to decongest the Murtala Muhammad Airport.
The minister said that it was a huge step in the right direction for Mr Sanwo-Olu to construct another airport in the state.
“Lagos with its GDP, housing and Stock Exchange, 200 financial institutions, 25 million people on 5,377 square kilometres of land mass, including the Eko Atlantic, all the industries, the tradition, the history, the tourist attraction, the Eyo Festival, and so on so forth, needs to be connected to the world.
“For Lagos to continue to be the centre of the economy of the activity of the country, Nigeria, the only best way you can link this city of Lagos to the world is obviously by infrastructure, and especially civil aviation.
“The expansion of Lagos is astronomical, is huge, is big. The idea and the size of the economy is good and big. So, you need to continue to link Lagos, not only with Nigeria, but Africa and the world.
“You are not going to get it wrong because aviation has the opportunity and uniqueness to link markets, link history, tradition and culture, people, schools and hospitals, which all Lagos has,” he said.
Also, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the project was all about a partnership between the federal government, through the Ministry of Aviation, and Lagos State for the benefit of the citizens and the businesses.
He said the state government was engaging in Business2Business as well as Government2Business to develop economies like Lagos State.
The governor said it was about giving them a platform where infrastructure and the opportunity for their businesses to thrive are available.
“This infrastructure will reduce journey time, make Lagos easily and better accessible, and people can make local and international business decision, given all the investment that had happened in that direction,” he said.
Recall that the state government had said that the project, expected to begin in 2023, would be built on 3,500 hectares of land.
It said that the master plan and aeronautical designs of the planned airport were in place.
It said studies were ongoing about strategies, funding and other issues, after which the project would be taken to the market place.
The airport, according to the state government, is expected to cater to a minimum of five million people yearly, and would be constructed in partnership with local and foreign investors.