Nasarawa State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, has said that the state government was ready to commence the construction of a N20 billion cargo airport in the state capital, Lafia next month.
The Governor made this known on Saturday on the occasion of the signing of contract agreement between the state government and the Chinese firm that would finance the project.
According to Al-makura, 75 per cent of the total cost of the project would be financed by the Chinese firm, Tongyi Group Engineering and its financial consultants, HYPAD, leaving the state with only 25 per cent commitment.
The Governor explained that the project was necessary because of the benefits the state stands to gain from it, especially in terms of boosting the state’s economy, revenue generation and job creation.
“You will recall that about three weeks ago, a Memorandum of Understanding with regard to our commitment to have a befitting cargo airport in Lafia was signed between the state government and a Chinese company.
“In line with that MoU, as well as our commitment for the smooth take-off of the airport, today we are going to sign the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) which is the final stage before the official flag-off of the project, slated for December this year.
“The proposed airport seeks to unlock the potential that lie in the state to attract investment, and would as well complement the burden at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport being the closest to the Federal Capital Territory,’’ he said.
The Governor further explained that that funds for meeting the state obligation would be through the Federal Government’s intervention on infrastructure, while that repayment would be spread out over a period of six years.
He said the proposed Lafia airport was conceived to reinforce his administration’s template for the overall development of the state.
He noted that the cargo airport would open access for easy visit of investors who might be interested in taking a look at the state’s endowment for businesses.
In his remark, the Chairman of Tongyi Group, Algreen Zhen, who expressed confidence that his company would deliver the project in good time, said the airport project, when completed, would go a long way in serving the interests of Nasarawa State people and beyond.