From Ebonyi to the world: airport of opportunities

When I used to visit Enene back in 2014, my description of Abakaliki was “that very calm town”. She is a golfer, so on weekends I’d go watch her score some holes. My memory of the town then was that of an enchanting and ‘unspoilt’ terrain.

I was contacted by a friend to join him on a tour of the State in July 2020. I saw it as an opportunity to see my friend who I had not visited since she got married.

On 19 July 2020, I Boarded a bus enroute Ebonyi. Passengers were fewer because of Covid-19 Protocols. Gladly in Nigeria, once we are in the same space anything and everything can be discussed; politics, Religion, Sports, Economies, Finance, So it was, as usual, a fun trip.

This ‘community’ of co-travellers discussed everything to the best of their knowledge. Well, till someone mentioned that the Ebonyi State Government was Constructing an International Airport.

“Are you sure”, my voice boomed.

You see, it was not unbelief. I was actually very excited.

Since November 1,1925 when the first aircraft landed in Kano, Nigeria has recorded growth in the Aviation sector. Of the 31 Airports in Nigeria, five are functional International Airports. In addition, there are airstrips or airfields scattered around the country, built mainly by the Nigerian Air Force and multinational oil companies.

The Aviation industry has been a steady contributor to the National GDP. In 2019 alone, the contribution of the aviation industry to Nigeria economy rose to $198.62 billion.

Of interest is the fact that of all the 31 Airports, the SouthEast region has 2- a cargo airport in Owerri and a recently upgraded International Airport in Enugu. This is a region that does 70% of imports into the country. An additional Airport would ease up a lot of things. So you could gauge my excitement .

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Ebonyi State International Airport will open the State to the world and position it as a go-to investment haven. The airport occupies an impressively massive stretch of land in Ezza and work is ongoing at a commendable speed rate.

Do you really think that this airport is necessary?

Emphatic Yes!

Foremost, the communities around where the Airport is sited are already getting a sweet taste of the positives. Ongoing Construction means influx of on-sites workers and thus commercial activities has improved.

The State Government has hinted that the Project would be completed, at earliest ,first quarter of 2022. This will open the State to direct connectivity and accessibility to the world. There will be ease of movement of goods for the Southeast businesses,shippers and passengers. Wealth creation and massive revenue boosting for the State Government.

I love to think of the direct impact it would have on the people of Ebonyi: for the on-sites businesses and the direct employment opportunities. The international shopping mall is a 10 minutes drive from the airport, and the international stadium is a further 5 minutes drive. This massive economy needs investors to position.

The Government of Ebonyi State is doing so much to position the State as the number one Investment hub in Nigeria.

One of the passengers on the bus put it this way:” I pity the politicians in that State because in the next campaigns they would not have talking points because this Governor has already done everything from roads to hospitals to agriculture to job creation”.

Is it not a marvel that a State with the least allocation in the Federation has achieved this much!

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It is called Vision.