The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, disclosed that plans are in top gear by the Federal Government to designate the state owned Agro Cargo International Airport as the export terminal for non-oil in the country.
The Governor, who made this known during the 5th Coronation and 60th birthday reception of the chairman, Ogun State Council of Oba’s and the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, held in Sagamu, also noted that a dry Port is on the verge of been located at Kajola.
Abiodun while saying that the Dry Port which would be an inland container terminal, would enable business concerns in the state ship cargo directly from foreign countries to Kajola.
He added that the development which is in collaboration with the Lagos State Government would also help to de-congest roads leading to Lagos ports.
The State Governor who further disclosed that his administration was also working to have a logistics hub in Wasimi, said that the hub would enable exporters to stock their containers and at the same time ship to their destinations.
“Only yesterday, I was advised by the Federal Government based on their understanding of what we are doing in Remoland, the Federal Government has decided to name our airport that we haven’t even commissioned as the Export Terminal for Non-Oil in the Country.
“Kajola is also a Free Trade Zone that was established by the Gbenga Daniel regime, it is where we currently have the wagon Assembly for the rail line that goes from Lagos to Ibadan, we have brushed it up again, looked at it, we are locating a dry Port in Kajola.
“A dry Port is an inland container terminal, so that Ogun businesses do not have to ship cargo from foreign countries to Apapa anymore, they will ship and say Kajola, because of the joint development cooperation we have with the Lagos State Government, we are jointly pursuing how to de-congest roads leading to Lagos ports and this one of the solutions that we’ve proffered to achieve that.
“ We are doing something not far from Kajola in Wasimi as well, it is what we call the ‘Logistics Hub,’ from where exporters will now be able to stock their containers. Once their containers are stocked in Wasimi and locked there. The next thing is to go on the ship and by so doing, there will be an increase in our ranking on the ease of doing business index. So companies will now not be complaining that containers come, spend weeks in the port,” he said.
Abiodun who also informed the gathering that the Agro Cargo International Airport which is 93 per cent completed, would be a viable transport and logistics hub.
The Governor while noting that the Agro Cargo Airport would provide a lot of what the Muritala Mohammed International Airport can’t provide for its users, said that the airport is built to category B6 specification.
“The Muritala Mohammed International Airport (MMA) is mainly a passenger airport that also operates cargo flights, the entire cargo apron of MMA is about 26,000 thousand square meters, their is no adequate space for aircraft to land, cargo planes to land.
“ When cargo planes land in MMA, they have to wait because they are second in priority, the passenger planes are given priority to go to their own aprons and only after that can cargo planes go to their apron, they are almost parking with their wings touching each other.
“When it comes to fueling, they are also second in priority, they don’t have any more expansions space for their warehouses.
“Let me share this good news with you, our airport here has its apron four times the size of the apron in Muritala Mohammed Airport, our airport is almost 90,000 square meters, world class, built to specifications, category B6 specification.
“The runway is four kilometers, that runway is slightly longer than Muritala Mohammed International Airport runway, the fencing of that airport is a category 6 fencing, we have not cut any corners and the reason is very simple, we are a state government, we are only an enabler, we are not in the business of running business, we only facilitated the construction of that airport for others to take it over, either by buying it or concesioning and the only way we can do that properly is for us to build it to the best in class,” he said.
Abiodun who also added that the airport would be a cargo hub for the entire sub region of Africa, said that “we are currently speaking with DHL, Ethiopia Airlines, the plan is to move all their activities to this airport such that cargos will come there and from that point, you can bring the cargo and from that point, you can now begin to distribute to the rest of the hinterland, either by road and by air to the rest of the West African sub region.”
Speaking on the state government’s initiative to attract investment into the state, the Chief Economic Adviser and Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Okubadejo, disclosed that the present administration had ensured the implementation of some of its policies which he said has made the state the investment destination of choice for investors.
Okubadejo who also disclosed that it is important to think out of the box, added that the maintenance of the status of the state as the industrial hub of the county where manufacturers wouldn’t need to spend too much on products is important.
The Chief Economic Adviser while noting that the creation of the Remo Industrial Cluster, the revalidation of the Agro Cargo Airport which would soon be ready for use, remain important for the economic development of the state.
Okubadejo who also noted that the Ijebu industrial cluster along the Ijebu-Ode-Epe corridor was deliberately created by the present administration in the state to pull from the Lekki corridor, added that significant transportation opportunities which are multi-modal are also available for use in the state.