Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Abia State to build an airport

 The Abia State Governor, Chief T.A. Orji, recently announced his intention to build an airport in the state. Since that announcement, there has been a flurry of reactions from several segments of the society. Some people consider it not a priority in the state while a major segment of Abians consider it very timely. There is nothing wrong with the diverse opinions since public debate is part of democratic culture and ethos
> However, a dispassionate look into the whole issue will show that Ndi Abia actually need this proposed airport. Firstly, Abia is a business inclined state and virtually all important businessmen and women at Aba travel a lot to other parts of the country or overseas for one business transaction or another to do business. Presently they are facing the challenges of landing in neighbouring states and facing the hurdles of traveling by road to Abia State with its attendant hazards. Building an airport in the state will checkmate these hazards. Secondly, it will enhance the business and economic tempo in Abia State, as investors will have a one-stop access to the states.

> Moreover, it will encourage Abians living outside Nigeria to increase the frequency of their visit home and also attract the much-needed investment to the state.
> The multiplier effect of an airport in Abita State is overwhelming. Some people argue that the nearness of Imo Airport, PortHarcout Airport and Oyo Airport  respectively to the proposed Abia Airport makes it untenable. This writer disagrees with this notion. Navigationally, there is nothing wrong or strange with two or more airports sited near each other as long as they are properly equipped with navigational aids after all local and international airports still stay beside each other without any harm. The mentioned airports will complement the Abia Airport.
> As for the place to site the airport, there are many suitable places. However, consideration must be given to the viability of the surrounding places and nearness to both the state capital, Umuahia; and the commercial nerve of the state, Aba.The new international market at Ubani Ibeku and the international markets at Aba stand a lot to benefit from the proposed airport. As the committee the Governor set up on the project deliberates on the issue this writer suggests the airport be sited in any of the following places viz; between Isiala-Ngwa and Ubakala or between Abia boundary with Okigwe and NNPC Mega Station, Umudike area, Bende area or Uzuakoli. The airport may also be called Aguiyi Ironsi Airport, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu Airport, Z.C. Obi Airport, Alvan Ikoku Airport, and God’s Own Airport, Ochendo Abia Airport etc.

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