THE Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha has said that he is awaiting for the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport as early as the second week of May.
The Governor, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo in Owerri on Tuesday, stated that he would be happy to handover the airport to his successor, as part of the legacy of his administration. According to the press statement, the governor made the disclosure during a courtesy call on him by the Director of Commercial and Development of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Sadik Rafindadi at the Government House, Owerri.
The Governor had noted that the “Government will extend the existing runway to enable the boeing 737 and other big cargo aircrafts to land safely,” as required by FAAN. Stated Okorocha: “The idea of building the International Cargo Airport is to connect Imo State to the rest of the world. We are happy that this project has become a reality and we are waiting for the kind approval of the president to commission the project.
“When fully commissioned, it will increase and improve the commercial and economic activities of the people here. This is the biggest Cargo Airport in Nigeria.
“Most of the big importers in Nigeria come from the South-East and so this will help them in their businesses greatly.
“We are happy that this project has become a reality and we are hoping that in the next 10 days, this project will be commissioned and opened for public use.”
Okorocha expressed gratitude to the President for approving the building of the international cargo airport, adding that it was fully sponsored by the state government.
While presenting a letter from the Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. Rafindadi commended the Governor for his vision, which gave birth to the cargo airport.
He described the airport as an “indelible achievement and a great contribution” to the growth of the aviation industry in Imo, adding that the whole country would benefit from it.
He said: “We thank you for your vision and leadership to construct an International Cargo Airport for your people. You started it from day one and thank God that today it is completed and ready for commissioning.
“This project will bring a lot of revenue to FAAN, Imo government and Nigeria as a whole.”