President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday laid the foundation of the new International Terminal and the Remodelled Terminal of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, saying the facility can handle about 500,000 passengers annually.
According to Jonathan, Enugu, as the gate way to the South-East region; the home of entrepreneurship in Nigeria, deserves an international airport in the mould of the Akanu Ibiam Airport.
He explained that with the current designation of Akanu Ibiam as an international airport, there will be no need for millions of enterprising people in the region to travel to Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja or Kano international airports for their foreign business travels.
The President expressed delight that the Akanu Ibiam airport was one of 13 designated as perishable cargo centers saying it formed part of the national programme aimed at revamping the country’s air transport sector.
“When constructed, the facility will accelerate the quick processing and evacuation of perishable agricultural produce, directly from the farm to consumers in Europe and elsewhere in the world,” he stated.
Jonathan said the facility will give Nigerians a lot of opportunities, particularly people from the South-east zone to export agricultural produce and create wealth domestically.
“The evacuation of perishable agricultural produce out of the Africa is business opportunity.
“Nigeria as a nation has not been able to key in and this is one of the areas the aviation minister has been quite particular about, how we in the this country can also key into that multi-billion business,” he stated.