The federal government on Saturday inaugurated the Ekiti State agro-allied passenger international airport for public use with the landing of the first aeroplane.
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The first aircraft, ATR 42 Nigeria, an Air Force plane piloted by Flight Lieutenant E.A. Balogun, landed at the airport’s runway at exactly 10.20 am amidst cheers and excitement by guests, government officials and members of the public who came to witness the historic occasion.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who performed the inauguration of the airport, was among the personalities on board the aircraft, which flew from Abuja to make the historic landing on Ekiti soil.
The governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who could not hide his joy, expressed satisfaction that the project eventually saw the light of day 10 years after its conception during his first administration in 2012.
Fayemi used the occasion to assure the people of the state that the federal roads that are in dilapidated conditions in the state would be given attention to bring relief to their users and complement the newly inaugurated airport project.
In his welcome address, Mr Zhang Zichen, the chairman of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), which handled the project, praised Governor Fayemi for the vision, which he said would change the face of the state’s economy.
During the inauguration, Sirika announced to the excited audience that the federal government would site a cargo facility at the airport.
He described the Ekiti airport as “an extremely very important project,” which would turn facilitate import and export of goods and commodities.