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Ibadan critical to our development plan —FG

MINISTER of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as a city, is critical in the development agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.

He said this was the reason the Ibadan Airport was penciled in by the government as part of projects for rehabilitation in the industrial revolution agenda of the administration.

Sirika stated this while addressing journalists in Ibadan, on Saturday, after the inauguration of the recently-built terminal building at the airport at Alakia.

The minister, who arrived at the airport at exactly 3:05 p.m., in an aircraft marked 5N-BVR, was received by Senator Soji Akanbi on behalf of the people of Oyo State; manager, Ibadan Airport, Mr Victor Akinselure; and other staff of the airport.

Chronicling the political, socio-economic, and historical development of the city, Sirika went ahead to inaugurate the terminal building, while paying glowing tribute to the heroes of the city.

He was accompanied by the Managing Director, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunomah; Director, Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET), Professor Sank Nashir; acting Permanent Secretary, Mr John Eboigbe, among others.

“The importance of Ibadan and its environs, the rich history, culture and tradition, the trade and its commerce and the size of the population of Ibadan make it too important as a city to be ignored.

“The Federal Government, through the ministries of transportation and aviation, is conscious of this. Therefore, we undertook this project to rehabilitate the airport and try to recreate activities around it to take it past its previous glory.

“We cannot grow bigger or run faster than our fathers. Therefore, we will not abandon these cities for their historical significance, population, contribution to the development and growth of this country, socio-economic activities, trade, politics, tradition and culture.

“This city of Ibadan, indeed, is a pillar city in West Africa. It is central, just like Kano. We revere this city and against this background, the ministries of transportation and aviation decided to rehabilitate the Ibadan terminal building and some other associated works, including perimeter fencing,” he said.

Addressing journalists, the airport manager, Akinselure, said with the inauguration, Ibadan Airport was “ready to fly,” urging the Federal Government not to relent in its effort to ensure the standard of the airport increase and it is put to full utilisation.

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