•Approves constituency projects for 236 councilors
James Sowole in Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Sunday, disclosed that the state has received concessioning offers for the Gateway Agro-Cargo International Airport
The airport located in the Iperu-Ilishan axis of the state is nearing completion with aircraft already landing at the location.
Preparatory to the concessioning process, the state government, federal ministry of aviation, and other stakeholders will, this week, meet on process of concessioning the airport.
In another development, Governor Abiodun, has approved constituency projects for the 236 councillors in the state.
The approval, the governor said, was in fulfilment of his promise to ensure the councilors execute projects in their various wards as the closest to the people at the grassroots.
Abiodun made this known at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, when he received the jubilant councilors who were on ground to pass a vote of confidence on his administration and also thank him for paying their full furniture allowance.
Speaking on a Channels TV programme on Sunday evening, Governor abiodun disclosed that efforts by the state government to recoup every penny expended on the airport would begin with the take-off of the concessioning agreement.
Abiodun said: “Returns on airport investments are not seen overnight. We have been receiving unsolicited offers from others who are desirous of consessioning this airport and paying us back everything the airport costs us.
His words: “So, for us, our money has worked. We invested in building this airport to de-risk it because we realised that if we had gone ahead and advertised for others to come and build this airport for us, we probably would only have started building it at the end of our second term. So, we decided to bite the bullet. We invested. We have built that airport.
“Because of the standard that we have adhered to – we’ve built a world class airport here – we have now received unsolicited offers to concession the airport from us and I am happy to say that we have accepted one of those offers.
“By the grace of God, on Tuesday, we will be signing that concession. You will see the minister of aviation along with the heads of aviation parastatals signing with us to a third party who currently manages three other airports in Africa.
“And this third party would be paying the entire amount the airport has cost us. So, it would now be his responsibility to run this airport in line with the world best practices.
He would be responsible for bringing in traffic to this airport, and I know that he is already speaking to some major cargo companies around the world. We’ve created this enabling facility.
“They said you build a road that connects you from one point to the other, but when you build an airport, it takes you from one point to the rest of the world. And we think that with what we’ve done, we’ve opened Ogun State to the rest of the world.”
Meanwhile, Abiodun, who recently approved the full payment of furniture allowance to the 236 councillors, also promised to ensure the continuous empowerment of the councillors.
He said, “You have reminded me of my promise to you of your constituency project. Consider that done because you are the closest to the grassroot. You are the ones representing us at the grassroot. You will not be put to shame.
“I am a promise keeping governor . Whatever promise I make to you, I will definitely keep it. I want to thank you for your very kind remarks for appreciating that I promised you I was going to pay your furniture allowances, and I remain the first governor that will pay furniture allowances to councillors 100%.
“I also promised that I was going to ensure you are sufficiently empowered. You are politicians. You must be empowered to continue to empower your various constituencies and I think I am trying,” he said.
Abiodun also thanked the judiciary for upholding the rule of law and called on opposition members to stop running around to buy jugments and join his administration in moving the state to the next level.
The governor stated that Ogun State is currently the fastest growing economy in the country, even as he ascribed the success to the team, which shares the same vision with him.
He promised that his administration would spend the next three and half years building on the solid foundation laid in the first term, noting that no stone would be left unturned.
Abiodun also urged the councilors to continue to be good ambassadors of the party at their various wards.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, Ogun State Forum of Councillors, Hon. Olarenwaju Adeleye thanked the governor for approving and paying their full furniture allowance.
Adeleye also acknowledged Abiodun for executing at least a project in each of the 236 wards of the state and commended him for not abandoning projects left unfinished by the immediate past administrations in the state.