Newly completed cargo airport to employ 25,000 youths, increase agriculture exports 

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, revealed that the newly completed Gateway International Agro-Cargo Airport project will create job opportunities for approximately 25,000 unemployed youths in the state.

According to him, the airport project will also include other developmental initiatives such as the Special Agro Processing Zone (SAPZ) located in the metropolis.

NewsTimes gathers that this mega airport aims to enhance the export of agricultural and non-agricultural goods, leading to increased social and economic activities and ultimately boosting the state’s revenue generation. 

Making a milestone 

Yesterday marked a significant milestone for Ogun State as the first commercial flight successfully landed at the Gateway Agro Cargo International Airport located along Iperu-Ilishan road in Ikenne Local Government Area. Hundreds of people cheered as the flight touched down around 2.15 pm. 

The Agro Cargo Airport was initially conceptualized during Gbenga Daniel’s administration in 2005 but under Dapo Abiodun’s leadership, the project was actualized. During the event, Governor Abiodun emphasized that the maiden test flight was a crucial step towards achieving full certification and licensing for safe aviation operations. 

Improving agriculture exports 

The Governor pointed out that the airport’s development was strategically timed, coinciding with the effectiveness of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement. This airport is poised to play a pivotal role in promoting increased export activity, serving as a key departure point for export goods. 

The Agro Cargo Airport’s significance is further amplified by the establishment of the AfDB-sponsored Special Agriculture Processing Zone within the airport zone, in collaboration with the Federal Government.

This zone will encompass various industrial and logistics activity centres, creating an Aerotropolis that will benefit from the airport and air transportation services. 

Projects complementing the airport’s growth. 

Governor Abiodun highlighted the ongoing infrastructure developments that complement the airport’s growth.

These include the reconstruction of the Lagos to Shagamu Expressway, the impending concessions of the Shagamu to Benin Expressway, and the development of the east-to-west standard gauge rail line connecting Lagos to the airport and extending to the eastern part of the country. 

 He said, 

  •  It comes at a time when the AfDB-sponsored Special Agriculture Processing Zone was established in the airport zone in conjunction with the Federal Government, a zone to also include various industrial and logistics activity centres and termed an Aerotropolis that would benefit from the airport and air transportation services. 
  • “It comes at a time the federal government has reconstructed the Lagos to Shagamu Express Way and is on the verge of concessioning the Shagamu to Benin Express Way ensuring safe and efficient land access. 

Furthermore, he said that the state is undertaking a sister development—the creation of a Dry Port and Port City at Kajola, situated at the junction of the Lagos to Ibadan and the proposed East to Gateway Airport to the East (Calabar) rail line.

This will facilitate connectivity between the Apapa ports and the Gateway Agro Cargo Airport, positioning Ogun State as a strategic hub for transportation and trade. 

Overall, the Gateway Agro Cargo International Airport’s successful test flight is a major step forward for Ogun State’s economic development and regional connectivity. 

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