Home » Aviacargo: Nasarawa State Govt. seeks investors support for cargo airport, aims to become number one in agro-export in Nigeria

Aviacargo: Nasarawa State Govt. seeks investors support for cargo airport, aims to become number one in agro-export in Nigeria

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Nasarawa state

The Nasarawa State Government has said it is prepared to engage with private investors in the country to facilitate the provision of the necessary facilities at the state’s cargo airport.

The Governor of the state, Abdullahi Sule said although the Federal Government, through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has taken over the airport, it remains a critical facilitate that is needed to boost its agro-export to the outside world.

The governor who was represented by the deputy governor, Dr. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe, said the government is prepared to make the state the number one agro-export hub in Nigeria, by making the cargo airport viable.

READ: Africa: Plateau State Govt. express readiness to revamp agro-export, call for upgrade of facilities at Jos Airport to boost export

He pointed out that 90% of the indigenes of the state are farmers adding that Nasarawa State is among the first three states in yam production in Nigeria and number one in Sesame production in the country.

He added that the state is number five in rice production in Nigeria noting that most of the rice in the market is produced from Doma in Nasarawa State.

Governor Abdullahi Sule said the state is going to partner with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to extend the runway of the airport to accommodate widebody aircraft to consolidate its export goals.

READ: Africa: NEXIM MD Commends FAAN”s Aviacargo Export Growth Plan, Pledges Support

He said: “We have started using the airport skeletally but we have sort for the approval of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority severally for planes to land and take off from the airport. About 90% of the people in Nasarawa State are into farming and agriculture generally is the main stay of about 90% of the population of the indigenes of the state. And of course, with production that they have it can support the whole region and beyond Nasarawa State. Like you rightly mentioned, I can tell you as a fact that Nasarawa State is among the first state three state in yam production in Nigeria.

“Nasarawa State is number one in Sesame production in Nigeria. Nasarawa State is number five in rice production in Nigeria. Most of the Mama Pride rice, you see in the market is from Doma in Nasarawa State. So, the products are here and we need to showcase these to the outside world. Not only that, it will also boost the economy of the state and the economy of the country. So, the cargo airport becomes more than necessary and desirable.

“But we cannot just leave solely in the hand so the federal government, we must also take advantage of the presence of the airport. I know that we might need to do a little more work there as far as the runway is concerned so that it can take bigger aircraft. The control tower is already in place, hopefully in a few weeks from now, the control tower will be installed. And like you right mentioned, the issue of the cold chain, the warehouse and other facilities are things that stakeholders can come in and take part in the airport. Although the federal government has taken over the airport but the ancillary service and other areas that need facilities, these is where the private sector should come in and take advantage and invest.

Earlier in his remark, the Managing Director, Federal Airports of Nigeria, FAAN, Kabir Yusuf Mohammed said the purpose of the visit is to seek a workable partnership with the government of Nasarawa State in order to enhance the capacity of state airport, create sustainable wealth and increase the per capita income of the citizens and also increase its gross domestic product.

The managing director who was represented by the General Manager, Business Development, FAAN, Mr. Hycienth Ngwu, said data by the Airport Council International(ACI), shows that an injection of one percent of a state’s budget into the development of an airport facility will translate to a 2.5 percent increase in the state’s GDP.

He said: “The visit is geared towards establishing a partnership with Nasarawa State in making the airport a viable one. FAAN created aviacargo committee with a view to the development of a cargo masterplan that will help in facilitating airlifting of produce for exportation. We realize that Nasarawa State is one of the states that have taking it upon themselves to build a cargo airport. Airports are engines of economic development. Data by Airport Council International shows that an injection of one percent of a state’s budget into the development of an airport facility will translate to a 2.5 percent increase in the state’s GDP. The airport business is a massive business and Nigeria is desirous of being a big player in the aviacargo business.”

Also speaking, Coordinator of the Aviacargo Roadmap Committee, Mr Ikechi Uko, said the aviacargo committee is a special committee set up by the federal airports authority of Nigeria to help develop a roadmap for Nigeria to be number one in Africa.

He noted that Nigeria ranks in the top 10 of most agro-product in Africa but does not export most of these produces.

He said: “The aviacargo committee is a special committee to help develop a roadmap for Nigeria to be number one in Africa. Nigeria has the biggest economy and has the largest population. Nigeria ranks number in about 10 products in Africa but we don’t export. Ghana produces 8 million tons of yam and Nigeria produces 53 million tones but we do not export will Ghana exports.

“Nigeria’s yam is watched taken to Ghana and repackaged as the produce of Ghana. Kenya is number one in Africa in aviacargo while Nigeria is at number five. It is difficult for a country that has so much money, power, potentials not to take advantage of these potentials. Close to 10 air freighters fly into Nigeria daily fully loaded but they fly out empty. Sometime in the past, a lot of goods were being exported from Jos airport, why did that stop and collapsed? After our assessment of the airport, we had to come to the food basket of Nigeria, which is the north central zone to find out what went wrong”.

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