How state-owned airports have become wasteful ventures

WITHOUT doubt, airports are vital to the communities they serve as they not only provide a quick and safe mode of transportation, but also help the local economy to grow and develop by providing various direct and indirect benefits.

Ordinarily, therefore,  any governor who makes the move to build  an airport for his state must certainly have good reasons for this. Obviously, such reasons must include development, connectivity, seamless transportation of citizens and goods and expansion and many other reasons.

However, before these benefits can be achieved, other efforts are required to make such an airport provide the dividends inherent in the move to the people of the state.

In other words, as critical as an airport is meant to be for an environment, certain components should have been acquired through the aviation rules and regulations guiding the principle of building an airport as it is done in other climes.

It is on record that presently, there are over 10 state-owned airports scattered around the country which are built by different state governments but wasting away due to no patronage.

Reasons given by the state governors for building the airports range from opening up their states to other parts of the country and the world at large, easy transportation of  farm produce and other goods to other areas and other reasons. Without doubt, these reasons have been found to be the least of the motives behind such move.

Prior to now, key players had accused the affected governors of having hidden agenda for building airports when citizens of their states wallow in abject poverty with no presence of basic amenities like water, good roads and health facilities.

It has also been argued that the issue of having an airport should come last after the needed basic facilities have been made available.

To many, the crazy rush for the construction of state-owned airports is not done in the interest of citizens but for the selfish interest of the governors who only want to make a political statement which unfortunately perish with them almost immediately they leave office.

Most of the state-owned airports can be described as wasteful ventures as they presently rot away without any record of witnessing a single flight operation in the last two years.

These state governors hardly realize what it takes to just wake up and embark on building an airport at the huge cost of public funds under the guise of opening up the states without looking at the practicality or future roles of such airports.

Among the state-owned airports falling into this category of stagnant airports include: the Dutse International Airport, Gombe Airport, Asaba Airport, Kebbi Airport and presently Bayelsa Airport.

Majority of the state-owned airports are just misadventures which have been used to siphon public funds at the expense of hopeless citizens.

It is painful that the reasons given by many of the affected governors, including both past and present, for building the airports have been found to be controversial in view of the abandonment of such airports due to lack of proper feasibility studies and genuine motives.

As the year draws to a close, it is hoped that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the other government authorities will critically examine this loose policy being explored by governors to waste public funds.

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