7 Things To Know About Makurdi Cargo Airport Project
The much awaited groundbreaking ceremony for the Cargopolis Makurdi Airport, eventually came to pass. It was the first time in Nigeria and the entire West African sub-region that an event for the construction of an airport of this nature and magnitude was held. In otherwords, when completed, the Makurdi Cargo Airport will be the first of its kind in the sub-region.
Beyond the possibility of holding such an enviable record, here are some of the other significant things to note about the Makurdi Cargo Airport:
- The airport project is a partnership between the Benue State Government and CDC Consortium, a Chinese and West African Partnership.
- The Cargopolis Makurdi Airport is sited 28 kilometers north of the state capital, Makurdi.
- It is estimated to cost N38 billion and the State Government will later pay 15% of the cost as equity in addition to the land it has provided for the location of the airport.
- The airport is projected to be completed in 2019/2020.
- The Samuel Ortom administration has granted a 25-year concession agreement for management of the airport to CDC Consortium.
- The airport offers a shift from other airports in the country as its planning and designers took into consideration, the export market potentials of Benue, the neighbouring states and passenger volumes projected to grow within the next three years.
- The long and short term benefits of the cargo airport to North Central Nigeria and the West African sub-region include:
- Enhanced exportation of farm produce
- Improved transportation
- Airport for both cargo and passenger traffic
- Employment/capacity building
- Poverty alleviation
- Lowering transport costs
- Wealth creation
- Trade hub for West Africa
- Spring up of industries
- Training of pilots
- Training of aircraft engineers
- Rural transformation
Statistics show that trade in goods represented 96% of Gross Domestic Product, GDP, in sub-Saharan Africa in 2010, higher than the 76% recorded a decade earlier. This pleasant reality presents states like Benue with the opportunity to use their comparative advantage in agriculture to drive the economy. This is the direction Governor Samuel Ortom is moving.
As the Governor said during the groundbreaking ceremony, the Benue State Government is giving maximum support for the successful completion of the cargo airport believing that when it begins operation, the benefits will be unquantifiable.
Imagine that with the coming of the cargo airport, the post harvest losses our farmers face yearly are reduced. Imagine that people begin to export their farm produce to Europe, Asia and the Americas. Imagine the value addition this development will have on the people of the state.
I see better days coming!
6 thoughts on “7 Things To Know About Makurdi Cargo Airport Project”
Stephen Akuma’s Take:
THE CARGO AIRPORT IN MAKURDI
There is an airport in Makurdi. Benue State Governor (PPP) is about to build a cargo airport along Makurdi-Lafia road that will cost N34 billion to complete. Nasarawa State Governor is about to build an airport along Lafia-Abuja road. There is an airport in Abuja. It takes 4hr to travel by road from Makurdi to Abuja. So we are going to have 4 Airports between Makurdi and Abuja. You can now see the kind of leaders we have.
Funny enough Benue has a River, We don’t even need a cargo airport. We only need to dredge River Benue so that we can have a cargo port in Makurdi. This will make Makurdi a commercial hub in Nigeria. The Governor of Benue State should rather mobilise members of the National Assembly from the State to present the case for the dredging of River Benue. I consider this white elephant project a complete waste of time and resources.
Shachia Oryila’s take:
Benue: NOW THAT AN AIRPORT IS PLANTED ON A FARM
I am reading that Ortom performed a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a cargo airport in Daudu. The construction site of the airport is the hectares of NYSC farm along syphon money. The Daudu project is more or less a pipe to steal state money.
In the beginning, when the idea had just birthed, I read that the project would be constructed with no financial involvement from the state government. Yesterday, I read that the project would be constructed with minimal financial cost from the state, hence it is a public-private partnership expected to be completed in 2020.
The rhetoric behind the project is that it would help Benue farmers sell their farm produce to the outside world. It would open the Benue market to the international community. Farmers would get value for their effort on the farm. Boys would be employed. Girls would marry. Corn and yam rosters would smile. And more money would come into the state treasury. Brilliant, you may be tempted to think the governor has found the magic solution to Benue’s problem. But, in the euphoria of thinking that the project is the answer, don’t forget to ask some pertinent questions.
What is the statistics which gave Ortom the assurance that he was embarking on a worthy project? Who are the targets of the project? Is it Benue farmers, middlemen or Benue elite? With the Makurdi airport, how many aeroplanes leave Makurdi daily? Have we any experience to learn from the Jos Cargo airport which was constructed by the government yet no cargo has ever left the airport since its construction in 2003? What are the prospects of a sustained harvest in Benue? How can Benue meet export demand when local demand for crops is high for most crops? Has the government put in place a plan to boost farming and crop production? How many trucks of yam tuber leave Benue daily in the past decade? How many trucks of soya beans leave Benue annually? How trucks of tomatoes leave Benue daily or yearly? How many trucks of grains and cereals generally leave Benue in recent times?
There is a drop in farming and crop production across the state. Farmers hardly get farm inputs. The exploits of cattle Fulani and the incessant clashes between crop farmers and herders have grossly affected food crop production. Many now produce only for subsistence. Recently, we went with a friend to buy cooking oil from a factory close to Airforce Headquarters in Makurdi known to produce fine oil now patronised well outside the state, but they said they had none because the company had run out of stock of soya beans.
In the past, hundreds of trucks and lorries and small buses leave Benue with cereals, tubers, fruits and others to Port Harcourt, Kano, Onitsha, among others. But, all that appear to be changing due to drop in harvest. Besides, the Benue market may not be able to sustain annual production of crops to warrant the kind of investment in gigantic project like an airport to ferry goods within or outside Nigeria.
For example, the amount of time that would be wasted to transport perishable goods from Zaki Biam to Daudu, offload them at the airport from lorries or trucks and upload them again into the cargo planes will lead to loss of time and waste of perishable goods. Tomatoes, peppers, yam tubers and fruits, such as mangoes, oranges, are transported easily via the trucks and small buses.
I do not think that Mallam Bahaushe will be willing to pay and wait for his oranges to be transported from Ushongo to Daudu and from there uploaded to the cargo plane before transported to Sokoto or Kano.
I do not think that the crafty Igbo businessman will be willing to pay and wait for his yam to be transported from Zaki Biam and then onto the cargo plane before being ferried to Onitsha or Port Harcourt. I do not think neighbouring countries like Ghana or Cameroun eat yam that much. And let Ortom tell us where yam is so expensive! At a time when we are told that the Taruku Mills will come on stream through concession and quadrupled the local demand for soya beans, I see no assurance that local harvest will be able to provide the company’s daily need. At a time when food is so expensive and beyond the reach of most families and homes, I see the planting of an airport on an NYSC farm originally meant to encourage the youths to go into farming as a setback to the quest to promote agriculture among the youths and have them gainfully employed.
Mansur Abdullahi’s take:
I am urging the government of Ortom to take focus and guided on people oriented projects, project that will speak for him in 2019.
Before I forget Ortom should know that this time no godfather will bring him back in 2019.
Ortom should also remember that Cargo airport will not benefit they Benue common man.
Elephant projects are not what they people need now…
What Benue people need is good roads, pipeborne water, schools, hospital’s among other basic amenities.
John Shiaondo’s take:
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has said the cargo airport being constructed by the state government would add immense value to the economy of the state as it would open new frontiers of trade, particularly exportation for the people of Benue and neighbouring states.
Governor Ortom, who said this at the ground breaking ceremony for cargo airport Saturday, noted that since agriculture is the mainstay of the state’s economy, the airport would create a window for exportation of agro produce from the state so as to give value to farmers and generate more revenue for the state and the nation.
Governor Ortom said the sitting of the airport in Duadu community of Benue in middle belt of Nigeria is, no doubt, quite strategic noting that the expectation is that farmers from other neighbouring states will also have access to the international market through the state, thus making it a hub for agro exports.
He noted that apart from conveying goods and passengers from Benue to other places, the cargo airport will generate employment, open other opportunities, industrialise the area as well as attract an energy plant to power the locality.
He despite the fact that the project will majorly be funded by Cargopolis Development Consortium Ltd, the Benue State government would provide 1000 hectares of land for the project, in addition to 15% equity contribution of the total cost of the project.
He said the state will derive enormous benefits noting that apart from job opportunities for the teaming graduates, the state will also have an opportunity to attract tourists to her alluring hills and other cultural expositions.
Earlier, team leader of Cargopolis Development Consortium Mr Robert Oriya said the company handling the project also intend to train fifteen indigenes to become pilots, adding “the project is a wonderful one because it is the farmers project.”
Mohammed Abubakar’s take:
Nasarawa state lays down a foundation for #17b and now Benue begins construction of #38b cargo airport. My fellow Nigerian what’s the distance between Benue n Lafia. Haba! Our Governors. Who’s fooling who? Chaiii! There’s God oooo
Lets put the problem of Benue under critical lenses, because there is supposed to be prioritization in executing some of these project else those elephant projects will not stand a taste of time because the people may not be in need of it at the moment.