The Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, has said that the Ogun State Agro-Cargo Airport, when completed, would add value to the lives of the people and contribute to the rapid growth of the state and the nation’s economy.
The minister stated this while fielding questions from newsmen after being conducted around the airport by Governor Dapo Abiodun.
The Minister described the airport as a major economic project of the Prince Abiodun-led administration, which, when fully operational, will be a game-changer for the state.
He said, “I have had the opportunity to be here before, and I know that the ARISE Agro-Cargo Industrial and Export Processing Zone is a major economic achievement that speaks to the possibility of rapid growth of the economy, which is the objective of Mr President to have more investments like this.
“It is the type of investment that grows the economy, that creates jobs, that reduces poverty, and it is good for the people of Ogun State in particular as well as Nigeria in general that new economic life is being breath into the area.
“As for this particular facility, this airport, which is reputed to have the longest runway in Nigeria, I can see the terminal building receiving finishing touches to make it a full-blown international passenger and cargo airport.”
Edun, who described the project as “very impressive” with a high standard, said the governor has leveraged his experience in the corporate world, coupled with zeal, efficiency, and attention to detail, to execute major projects in the state, saying the airport is a testimony.
Speaking further, the Minister said: “I congratulate the governor and the people of Ogun State on what has been achieved so far, but more importantly, we look forward to the result, which is the creation of jobs, increased production, and increased opportunities for farmers to produce and sell their products at a good price and in good time without any of the usual post-harvest losses and losses on transit that one gets from agricultural products.
“The airport is good for the economy of Ogun State and Nigeria, and we would like to see more of this. We encourage other states to join the private sector to achieve such.”
He said the government at the centre is working towards creating a stable economy through the creation of a business-friendly environment to attract both local and foreign investors to the country.
“We have to get the economy going, get the inflation down, stabilize the exchange rate, and get export revenue increased so that it can be a source of funding for growing the economy,” he added.
The finance minister, who acknowledged the current hardship in the country, however, emphasized that the government has come up with some intervention schemes to cushion the effects, noting that the transition period when reforms are implemented always comes with pain, assuring that there is hope in the days to come.
“We have a wide range of intervention programmes like the provision of fertilizer, food for the people around the country, extra funding for states for infrastructure, funding for the production of rice, wheat, maize, and cassava, and funding, including grants, free money for small, and medium-scale enterprises, particularly the smallest (micro), among others,” Edun submitted.
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