Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, conducted the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Nigeria Air Force base at the Ekiti Agro Allied International Airport on Thursday, All Nigeria Latest News reports.

During the elaborate ceremony at the base site in Igbemo-Ekiti, Governor Oyebanji highlighted that the project aimed at opening new avenues for economic activities, enhancing the state’s security infrastructure, and fostering tourism development. He emphasized the urgent need, as a landlocked state, to establish connections that open up the economy to the rest of the world.

Governor Oyebanji emphasized the state’s efforts in advancing towards establishing an aviation economy, leveraging its geographical location near the political and commercial capitals of the nation. He highlighted the crucial role of aviation and security infrastructure in realizing the state’s ambitions for growing tourism and advancing the prosperity agenda for its people.

The governor stated that the groundbreaking ceremony marked the fulfillment of the strategic vision to enhance security architecture and air military presence in the state. He reiterated that the decision to have an airport with the capability to land any aircraft, including military planes, was driven by the commitment to ensure the adequate and effective security of the people.

Governor Oyebanji stated further that the establishment of an Airport in the state was in fulfilment of the overall vision of his administration to make Ekiti the ultimate medical tourism destination in West Africa with the first class medical services being provided at Afe Babalola Multisystem Hospital and other tertiary medical facilities such as Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti and Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti.

He commended the contributions of AVM Afolabi Ojuawo (rtd.), the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Airport Project. He urged Ekiti indigenes, both at home and in the diaspora, to emulate such efforts by leveraging their positions to attract development to the state and enhance its economy.

The governor solicited the support of the citizens of the state to cooperate with investors in the state to record seamless developmental programme as the state would continue to witness influx of investors who would need partnership as well as land.

Governor Oyebanji Commended the Chief of the Air Staff and the entire Air force for their laudable achievements assuring them of the unflinching support of the people and government of the state for the timely completion of the project.

“ It will be recalled that one of the reasons we opted for this airport, which is situated on 4072 hectares of land with the capacity to land any aircraft including military, is to secure our people.

“It, therefore, delights me greatly that today’s event is in fulfilment of our strategic vision of expanding security architecture and air military presence in our dear State. It will be recalled that one of the reasons we opted for this airport, which is situated on 4072 hectares of land with the capacity to land any aircraft including military, is to secure our people.

“Let me reiterate the fact that the decision to have an airport in our State is primarily for economic, security and tourism development. As a land locked State, we need to open and connect our economy to the rest of the world. As an agrarian economy, one of the ways to expand our economy is to find a way to connect our farm produce to the international market and to develop new frontiers of economic opportunities.

“Let me, therefore, use this medium to express my profound appreciation to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal, Oludayo Amao for his commitment to the actualisation of the Air Force Operational Base in Ekiti and in particular for his promise to immediately activate the Air Defence project by establishing an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operational unit in Ekiti to cater for the air defence needs of the south western region of the country.

Earlier, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao said Nigerian Air Force had been employing airpower in support of the overall to tackle security situations such as terrorism, insurgency, armed banditry and kidnapping adding that part of the measures to urgently addressing the challenges was to establish new bases in strategic locations of which Ekiti was benefitting from.

AM Amao noted that the base would help the Air Force to effectively perform its security obligation in the state in particular and southwest in general.
While commending President Mohammadu Buhari for authorizing the acquisition of modern and well-equipped platform to boost Nigerian Air Force air power employment and projection capabilities and air combat training, the Air force Chief stated that there would soon be deployment of Aircraft to Ekiti state to strengthen response to security challenges in the state and the southwest geo-political and to as well impact its readiness and responsiveness to security challenges facing the country.

In attendance at the event were members of the state executive councils, traditional rulers and Airforce officials.

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