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Benue kicks off construction of cargo airport


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that the decision to construct a cargo airport was in line with the vision to partner with private sectors to develop infrastructure and the agricultural sector.

Ortom, who made the assertion yesterday at the foundation laying ceremony of the airport at Daudu in Guma Local Council of the state, stated that the project, which would cost N38 billion when completed, would facilitate the airlifting of farm produce in the state as well as other parts of the country to Europe at global prices.

He said the construction of the cargo airport was under agreement between the Benue State government and the Cargo Development Consortium (CDC).

The governor, while thanking the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other partners for adding value to the project, said that at the completion of the airport, it would greatly enhance the economic status of the people of the state.

Meanwhile, the team leader of CDC, Mr. Robert Orya, assured the state government that the cargo airport would be completed within the specified time and according to specifications so as to address yearly post-harvest losses in the state.

He added that the firm would train people on how to process and certify farm produce to international standard, create consultation centres in local councils of the state and train at least 15 from the host-community.

Also, a senator representing Benue North-West Zone, Dr. George Akume, lauded Ortom’s noble initiative of building a cargo airport and assured that he would use his membership of the Senate Committee on Aviation to make the project see the light of the day.

Besides, the Executive Project Advisor to the firm, Mr. Benish Kohav, said the state government had granted a concessional agreement to CDC, which also holds a majority stake in the project and shall be completed between 2019 and 2020.

The acting Tor Tiv, Ivokor Unongo, as well as Ter Guma, Chief Joseph Gborigo, all lauded the state government for siting the project in the area and assured of the security of the project.

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