By Uche Amunike
The Buhari-led government of Nigeria has approved the construction of the proposed Lekki-Epe Airport, through the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika who presented an official Letter of Approval to that effect, Tuesday, to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Speaking, during the presentation of the letter to Governor Sanwo-Olu at the 9th Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, the Minister stated that Lagos State was significant to the economy of Nigeria and that currently, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport was congested.
The Lekki-Epe airport, he said, would be constructed around the LekkiFree zone (LFZ) and is expected to help manufacturers and other business owners operating within the zone to transport their products abroad.
He mentioned that constructing the Lekki-Epe Airport was a big step in the right direction for Governor Sanwo-Olu because Lagos had the resources for an additional airport which will go a long way to help in decongesting the Murtala Mohammed Airport.
Hear him: ‘Lagos with its GDP, housing and Stock Exchange, 200 financial institutions, 25 million people on 5,377 square kilometres of land mass, including the Eko Atlantic, all the industries, the tradition, the history, the tourist attraction, the Eyo Festival, and so on so forth, needs to be connected to the world.’
‘For Lagos to continue to be the centre of the economy of the activity of the country, Nigeria, the only best way you can link this city of Lagos to the world is obviously by infrastructure, and especially civil aviation.’
‘The expansion of Lagos is astronomical, is huge, is big. The idea and the size of the economy is good and big. So, you need to continue to link Lagos, not only with Nigeria, but Africa and the world.’
‘You are not going to get it wrong because aviation has the opportunity and uniqueness to link markets, link history, tradition and culture, people, schools and hospitals, which all Lagos has,’ he concluded.
On his part, the Lagos state governor described the project as a partnership between the federal government, the Ministry of Aviation as well as Lagos state for the benefits of the citizens and businesses involved.
He said that Lagos State was involved in Business2Business and Government2Business, with the motive of developing the economy of the state, adding that all they needed was to be given an available platform for their infrastructure and business opportunities to thrive.
His words: ‘This infrastructure will reduce journey time, make Lagos easily and better accessible, and people can make local and international business decision, given all the investment that had happened in that direction.’
Recall that the Lagos state government had earlier accepted that the Lekki-Epe Airport project which was expected to commence in 2023, would be built on 3500 hectares of land and that the master plan and aeronautical designs were already in place.
The airport will be constructed in partnership with local and foreign investors and is expected to cater for at least 5 million people every year.