Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Friday, was joined by his Rivers State counterpart, Barr. Nyesom Wike, to commission the 3.2 kilometres dual carriage Ibadan Airport Road named after a former governor of the state, Dr. Victor Omololu Olunloyo and the 500,000 Litres Aviation Fuel Storage and Dispensing Facility located within the Ibadan Airport, Alakia.
The two projects, embarked upon by the state government, were lauded by Governor Wike as part of the Makinde administration’s infrastructure revolution, even as he called on residents of the state to re-elect the governor for another term in order to enable him continue to deliver landmark projects to the state.
The Rivers State governor equally flagged off the Omololu Olunloyo Park, which will serve as a car park for transport services to and from the Airport.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the aviation fuel facility, a Public-Private Partnership project built by BOVAS Company Limited, is part of Governor Makinde’s efforts to ensure the upgrade of the Ibadan Airport to an international airport and, thereby, boost the economy of the state.
Speaking during the commissioning event, Governor Makinde explained that the completion and commissioning of the 3.2 kilometres road and the aviation fuel tank projects were fulfillment of the promises he made to the people of the state.
He called on the people of the state to re-elect him on March 11, so that the state could move onto Omituntun 2.0, which is about the sustainable development of the state.
According to Makinde, who stated that the commissioning of the Airport Road is part of his vision to turn the surrounding areas of Ibadan Airport into an aerotropolis, all the projects and policies of his government have ensured that the Oyo State economy continues to grow.
He added that his administration will continue to serve the good people of the state till the last day of his first tenure in office and that it will continue to honour heroes and leaders, who have served the state diligently.
He further stated that with the completion of the Aviation Fuel Facility, an aircraft will be fuelled for the first time in the history of Ibadan Airport and that the state is well on its way to achieving the upgrade of the Ibadan Airport to an international airport.
He said: “You are all welcome to the commissioning of the Dr Victor Omololu Olunloyo Ibadan Airport Road, which is part of our vision of turning the surrounding areas of Ibadan Airport into an aerotropolis.
“They have explained to us the other projects attached to it but history is being made here today because after the speeches here, for the first time, an aircraft will be fuelled at Ibadan Airport. Those who are saying all the projects we have been carrying out are audio, they will see the video of the aircraft being fuelled here.
“Let me specially thank Captain Edward Boyo, MD of Overland Airways, who flew the aircraft down here to take the fuel and would fly away with it. So, those of you here today, I congratulate you for witnessing this history, which will be in the book of records.
“I shared my dream of seeing aeroplanes take off and land on this airport every thirty minutes and I have also shared my dream of this airport becoming an international airport. We are well on that journey. “Our vision goes beyond building roads as we have ancillary projects, which this airport is part of.
“When we came into office, I remember stating in my inaugural speech that depending on over 60 per cent of FAAC allocation was not sustainable. So, I promised that we would take actions that will put Oyo State on the path to sustainable development. With this project being commissioned today, I am happy to report that we have kept that promise.
“Our projects and policies have ensured that Oyo State economy continues to grow. As of 2022, we have reduced Oyo State dependence on FAAC to just about 50 per cent. But this will be one of the last projects we will commission before the election, and it is significant that we have taken another step towards opening our state to further economic growth.
“I can say this is a transition project. On one hand, it was conceived as one of the projects that will form that foundation for accelerated development, which we call Omituntun 1.0. Work on this road commenced in the month of February 2022, we have completed it in one year and just in time to move into Omituntun 2.0.
“We believe that just as you gave us the mandate to serve you the first time, you will do so again in about eight days from now.
“Completing and commissioning this project also fulfils our promise to continue diligently, serving the good people of Oyo State to the last day of our first tenure. As you can see, campaign is still ongoing, but we have not stopped governance.”
Governor Wike, who was the special guest of honour at the event, commended Governor Makinde for delivering massive projects in the state, urging the people of the state to cast their votes for the governor for a second term so that he could continue his good works in the state.
Wike said: “Today, I am happy to see history being made in Oyo State. It gives me pleasure to know that an aircraft will take fuel from this Airport. Before now, when aircraft land here, they go back and refuel, but now, no going back; you land and take fuel here. May God continue to bless His Excellency for his people.
“He wants the economy of his people to improve. Look at the Airport, the VIP Lounge and the road named after our elder statesman, which are supposed to be the responsibilities of the Federal Government.
“I heard the regional manager say that ‘he wants more,’ ‘he wants more.’ I want to tell you to tell the Federal Government to refund the state what its has invested here or hands off totally and hand over the Airport to Oyo State. “That is why we have been talking about true federalism and restructuring.
“I don’t want to talk about your second tenure, because I know that the people of Oyo State know that one good turn deserves another. If, in his first term, he can perform this way, he will over-perform in his second term. I can guarantee that he will do better than what he has done in first term.
“So, on the day of the governorship election, make sure that everything you are pressing on the ballot papers have the umbrella logo. Don’t create a relationship with anyone again.”
In his remarks, former Governor Olunloyo, after whom the road and park projects were named, appreciated Governor Makinde for honouring him, saying that he never knew anything like that was in store for him.
He explained that Governor Makinde has been taking good care of his family and health, praying that God will anoint him once more as governor of Oyo State.