By Olamilekan FAWAS
Bayelsa Government has said it is putting finishing touches to its N90 billion Cargo International Airport project which has reached 95 per cent completion.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said in Yenagoa of Friday that the airport would be inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Aug. 27, 2018.
Iworiso-Markson said the airport was one of the legacy projects that would change the economic fortunes of the state and bring about prosperity for the people.
According to him, the airport, when operational, will create “massive” job opportunities for Bayelsa people and make the state a leading investment destination as well as a hub for business.
“There will be more business opportunities, more investment opportunities and more revenue will accrue to the state. It is indeed a dream come true for us as a government. We are so excited about this project because of the massive benefits the state and our people will derive from it.
“The airport is a testament of the commitment and dedication of the restoration government to open up this state and show to the world our huge potential.
“This is the heart of the Niger Delta; this is the Jerusalem of the Ijaw Nation and this airport will give us a new narrative. I want our people to know that this is not politics; it is development, and we have often said that we don’t play politics with development.
“This airport will be used by both PDP and APC members; so, nobody should politicise this project.’’
He explained that the airport was fully funded by the state government after the Federal Government reneged on an earlier agreement to provide counterpart fund.
According to him, the Federal Government was to have funded the construction of the terminal building, control tower, hangar and the fire bay.
The Commissioner commended Gov. Seriake Dickson for his vision and foresight, saying that only a serious leader like him would have embarked on such an ambitious project amidst economic recession.
He said that aviation experts believe that the airport would be one of the safest in Nigeria in view of the security and safety equipment installed which they adjudge to be the latest and the best.
According to Iworiso-Markson, test flight operations will commence on Aug. 20 ahead of the inauguration on Aug. 27.
It would be recalled that the project which started in 2012, is being handled by Dantata and Sawoe.