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Ekiti Airport: Knocks for Fayose



A battery of knocks have greeted Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose over his projected Ado Ekiti Airport project.

This is coming even as the State Government, announced on Friday that it had commenced the construction of the multi-billion naira Airport with the clearing of 4000 hectares of land for its effective take off.

The Airport project which was reportedly approved by the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration in 2009 had stalled due to lack of political will of previous administrations.

The Ekiti State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Kayode Oso, who supervised the clearing of the airport site told newsmen that Governor Ayodele Fayose had set up a planning Committee for the project a month ago, adding that the Committee had consulted widely with relevant consultancy firms and professionals on the project and also visited several airports in the country for assessment.

Oso, who assured that the Governor Fayose-led administration was desirous of implementing the airport project, also disclosed that relevant professional bodies had approved the project, hence the commencement of works on it.

“Today, we are starting the site clearing of 40 hectares of land which would be used for the airport project and we are sure that the project is achievable as a consultant is already working on its cost.

“We are hoping that in two months, we will be through with the site clearing after which the Governor would flag-off construction works on the site.

“The communities that would be affected by the site clearing include Aso-Ayegunle, Ijon, and a part of Afao-Ekiti”, he explained..

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Aso ayegunle indigenes, Chief Owolabi Solomon who spoke to newsmen, said: “We have been informed that the government would use our farmlands for the airport project and we even know the areas that would be affected.

“We are happy the government is bringing this laudable development to us but we are also pleading that the government should, as a matter of urgency, find means of compensating us because the farmlands being taken are our only source of livelihood”.

Commentators and analysts spoken to bt The Difference on the subject were even more forthright.

Michael Oyemade, a training consultant said: ‘I think the challenge really is lack of business minded leaders we have in our part of the world. There is what we call Cost Benefit Analysis in accounting of a project to determine the viability and sustainability. Should a poor state like Ekiti with all due respect be considering a white elephant project like an airport when oil revenue is dwindling and there is huge unpaid arrears of public workers’ salaries?. This is a state that relies heavily on federation account allocations! I think some smart guys are pushing for the project because of their personal interest. They have sweet tongued the governor to believe their lies.

On his part, Tony Opara was most pointed: This is a white elephant project. Who will use the airport and what revenue will it derive? It’s is a disaster in waiting.

It will be recalled that Nigeria is presently dotted with an avalanche of very expensive projects that have since been abandoned.

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