By AdedayoÂ Adejobi
The international company All Works of Life (AWOL) International Limited that took over the construction of MKO International Airport, Ido-Osun, Osun state, has dismissed the insinuation that the state government had financial commitment in the concession of the airport to the company.
AWOL Chief Executive Officer, Ambassador Nurudeen Ogunlade said the state government had no financial commitment to the construction of the airport, explaining that the concession agreement reached by the two parties excused the state of committing any amount to the airport.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Ogunlade said the airport would be constructed and funded 100 per cent by his company through the Turkish government, maintaining that they would build, operate and transfer the airport to the government.
Besides, the state government would earn five per cent of the profit of the airport, Land rent, collect tax and other necessary dues would be committed to the government before the transfer.
According to Ogunlade, the first phase of the airport would be completed in eight months time and would begin to operate, adding that construction work had started at the airport site in earnest.
He disclosed that the facilities at the airport would include an ultramodern commercial complex, terminal buildings, control tower, standard civil infrastructure, construction of maintenance building and power house, staff training centre, fire-fighting station, security infrastructure, apron and taxiways and dual carriage road from Oba Adesoji Aderemi road to the airport.
Ogunlade said: â€œCompared with other Airports, MKO International Airport will open the doors of business and other trade related opportunity among Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kogi, Oyo, Kwara and Edo State as well as our foreign visitors.
â€œOn the completion of the construction of First Phase of the Airport within the period of 8months, it will take off with five aircraft, three passengers helicopter and one cargo aircraft by AWOL International Company.â€
Answering questions on why the contract sum of the airport increased from N11bn to N69bn, Ogunlade said there was new design and structures, explaining that the runway which used to be 3km had been increased to 3.5km.
He said the airport would be completed with the establishment of five Star Hotels, Cultural center, Water Park, Recreation Center and Garden, Butterfly Museum and Casinos within the period ofÂ two years.
Ogunlade said AWOL would encourage tourism with the airport and that it will employ over 2000 youths in tourism industry alone.
In their remarks, the Commissioners for Information and Strategy, Works and Transports, and Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state, Messrs Adelani Baderinwa, Kazeem Salami and Kolapo Alimi warned the opposition from politicising the airport and urged the people who would be ultimate beneficiaries of the projects to defend it from been pulled down by unpatriotic elements.
The commissioners said only â€˜enemy of the stateâ€™ would wish that the construction of the airport to fail, describing the airport as an headway for rapid economic development and job opportunity for the state and its people.
According to the commissioners, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said that all his projects would be completed before the end of his tenure, noting that the airport is part of the project that will be completed before November 27 2017.