The new International Passenger and Cargo Airport in Obudu, Cross River State, will commence operations from next year, as the state government has paid N900m compensation to affected host communities.
State Commissioner for Aviation, Dr. Jake Otu Enya, told journalists in Obudu that the major work was the runway and immediately that section was completed, the next stage would be for the contractor to mobilise to site.
“Sometime last week, we opened bids for the procurement of contractors to come to site for the construction work proper. So, what we are doing here is the preliminary, which is part of our own work as a state to reduce the cost of the project.
“The major assignment in an airport all over the world is the runway and where we have reached is such that by the time the contractor comes in, he will only start from here till the end.
“So, basically, we are looking at 2021 for the airport to be completed and become functional or operational. So, that is our timeline for the project,” he stated.
He explained that it would be an international airport, not just for passengers, but also for cargo, adding: “So, we estimate that there is no type of plane that cannot land here.
“We have procured Boeing 737, which is very good for cargo and all of that. This airport would serve Cross River and neighbouring Benue, Taraba, Imo, Ebonyi and other states.”
Insisting that the procurement process has been completed, he assured that the state government had paid and all arrangements made for the project, saying: “We have two aircrafts on ground and we are only waiting for their delivery to Cross River State.”
On funding, he said, the Cross River State Government had put everything in place to enable all stakeholders in the project to deliver, maintaining that one of the greatest things working for the state was Governor Benedict Ayade’s intellectual property.
“He takes challenges and situations tactfully and he knows how to showcase himself in the best possible way. We have had some key capital projects from the beginning of his administration.
“That is why the 2021 budget focuses on humanity and capital projects that the state government will use the resources at its disposal to pursue,” he added.