MINISTER OF TRANSPORT WARNS STATES AGAINST NON-VIABLE AIRPORT PROJECTS
Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transport has warned state governors against executing airport projects that are not economically viable.
The minister cautioned against frivolous airport project when he spoke with newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during his assessment visit to some of the federal projects executed by the Ogun State Government.
According to him, construction of airports by state governments should be based on the economic demand for such projects in their states.
Amaechi said it would be unthinkable for any state government to construct airports that would not be needed or under-utilised, adding that such airports already abound across the country.
“I believe that the construction of airports should be backed by the growth of the economy. There are some airports that are constructed just for the governors to land and take off. That won’t be the idea for me as minister of transportation.
“I’d prefer that all airports that are constructed would be backed by economic demand. And, when we look at the number, if the numbers add up…We will not discourage Ogun State if you like to construct an airport, but, we would like to advise that they should look at the economics of an airport,”he said.
“Governors should focus on those things that would improve on the lives of the poor, not the rich. It’s the rich people that fly plane. How many poor people know where airport is, not to talk of flying in an aircraft?” he added.
He restated the commitment of the central government towards completion of new terminals at four international airports of Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano.
The minister also stated that the construction of railways between Lagos and Calabar, as well as Lagos and Kano commences this year.
“Am here to confirm some of the roads constructed by the state government on behalf of Federal Government. “I am convinced that most of the roads have been constructed,” he added.