Governor Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa State on Saturday said that the state government would launch the construction of a N20 billion cargo airport in Lafia in December.
Mr. Al-makura spoke in Lafia during the signing of contract agreement between the state government and a Chinese firm, Tongyi Group Engineering, and representative of HYPAD, the Chinese firm that would finance the project.
“You will recall that about three weeks ago, a Memorandum of Understanding with regard to our commitment to have a befitting cargo airport in Lafia was signed between the state government and a Chinese company.
“In line with that MoU, as well as our commitment for the smooth take-off of the airport, today we are going to sign the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) which is the final stage before the official flag-off of the project, slated for December this year”, he said.
Mr. Al-makura said the project was necessary because of the benefits the state stands to gain from it, especially in terms of economic boost, revenue generation and job creation.
The governor stated that 75 per cent of the total cost of the project would be financed by Tongyi Group and its financial consultants, leaving the state with only 25 per cent commitment.
Mr. Al-makura said the proposed Lafia airport was conceived to reinforce his administration’s template for the overall development of the state.
He noted that the cargo airport would open access for easy visit of investors who might be interested in taking a look at the state’s endowment for businesses.
“The proposed airport seeks to unlock the potential that lie in the state to attract investment, and would as well complement the burden at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport being the closest to the Federal Capital Territory”.
Mr. Al-makura, who explained that funds for meeting the state obligation would be through the Federal Government’s intervention on infrastructure, noted that repayment would be spread out over a period of six years.
The Chairman of Tongyi Group, Algreen Zhen, expressed confidence that when completed, the airport would add value to the citizens of Nasarawa State and its neighbours.
He expressed confidence that his company would deliver the project in good time, having put in place arrangements for the smooth take-off of the project.