By Ikeugonna Eleke
The Anambra State Government has stated reasons it budgeted N6 billion for the construction of the proposed Anambra Cargo Airport, despite initial information that a Chinese Company, Sinoking International, would build it at no cost to the state through a build – operate – manage and transfer (BOMT) basis.
The State Commissioner for Works, Mr Marcel Ezejiofor, told journalists in a news conference in Awka that the state government made provision of N6billion in the proposed 2020 budget because the Chinese company was still wasting time and the governor needed to start doing something since he had already promised the people an airport.
Ezejiofor said, ‘The governor is a man of his words, and since he had already promised the people a cargo airport, he did not want to go back on his words; so he budgeted N6 billion for the project in the 2020 budget.
‘There is a foreign partner, and they are sorting out their funding. As we wait for them, the government will be doing something, and when they eventually come, they will balance us our money.
‘That airport is real. We have done the expression of interest, and it is now in the tending service and before Christmas, the contractors will mobilize to site. What we are doing is not just an airport, but international cargo airport because our people are predominantly business people and there was a feasibility study before that license was approved.’
The airport project, flagged off in 2017 by Governor Obiano, is an airport city which would also host a five star hotel, aviation fuel dump where aircraft across Nigeria can come for refueling, and aircraft maintenance section.
The project, the governor had said, was expected to be completed in 36 months, which would be in April 2020, and estimated to cost $2billion.
Fides had in April during a visit to the site, revealed that no work had been done on the site two years after its flag off.