The House of Representatives has requested that the Federal Government complete the MKO Abiola Airport in Iddo Osun, Osun State, which was the British Empire’s first landing strip in 1933.
The House passed this resolution today after Representative Bamidele Salam, who represents the Ede North, Ede South, Egbedore, and Ejigbo federal constituencies in Osun state, submitted a motion to that effect during the plenary session.
Rep. Salam’s proposal, which Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila hailed as “extremely essential,” was seconded by Rep. Benjamin Kalu of Abia state and unanimously carried by the House.
Before the motion was passed, the federal member noted that the airport’s completion will be part of attempts to tap into the state’s vast tourism, economic, and agricultural potential.
He urged the House to pass a resolution directing the Federal Government to complete the airport through the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, in collaboration with the Osun State Government, which is being asked to look into the possibility of partnering on the project.
The House Committee on Aviation is also urged to ensure compliance.
The MKO Abiola International Airport is located in Ido-Osun, Egbedore Local Government of Osun State, on a site that was the first community where aviation activity took place in all of West Africa, according to Rep. Salam.
The rest of the motion reads:
Also note that after the acquisition of the site, an airstrip, which served as take-off and landing platform for the West African Frontier Force during the Second World War, was constructed by the British Empire in the area;
Further note that the site spans over 839 hectares of land and is located in a flat area which the British considered as a very perfect site for Aviation activities and thereafter made the site the first landing strip in British West Africa during the preparation for the Second World War;
Aware that historical sites such as this are meant to be revitalized and preserved to foster an appreciation of National history and heritage;
Also note that former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s administration bought extra land in its attempt to build a modern airport on the same swath of land, but that government’s life was cut short and therefore the project could not be completed;
Also know that the following administrations of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola and current Governor Gboyega Oyetola attempted to resurrect the MKO Abiola Airport’s dormant location, but were hampered by a number of problems;
Worried that the Airport’s 3.5-kilometer runway had been marked, dredged, and drained on each side, while many drain boxes remained unfixed.
Concerned that, despite billions of naira already spent on the project, the airport has been abandoned and is in desperate need of redevelopment;
With the knowledge that Osun State has a population of over 4 million people and has enormous tourism, commercial, and agricultural potential.
Recognizing that Osun State’s vast tourism potential has the ability to boost Nigeria’s and the state’s revenue in dollars, and that this potential may best be tapped by establishing an airport in the state.
Taking into account that Osun State is one of Nigeria’s most urbanized and cosmopolitan states, with eight important public and private universities and a number of other notable higher learning institutions;
Assured that the Airport will enable trade, spur economic progress, and, in turn, create jobs for the state’s burgeoning unemployed youth.
Concerned that the development of this airport will necessitate a large sum of money, which Osun State’s current financial situation may prevent;
Concerned that if nothing is done to resurrect the MKO Abiola Airport project in Ido-Osun, billions of naira already spent on the project will be wasted.
(a) Urge the Federal Government to take over the completion of the MKO Abiola Airport, Ido-Osun, Osun State
(b) Urge the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to liaise with Osun State Government to look at the possibility of partnership on the project.
(c) Mandate the House committee on Aviation to ensure compliance.