By Oladele Ogunsola, Ibadan.
The Osun state owned M.K.O International Airport, Ido-Osun would begin to operate in the next eight months, as an international company, the All Works of Life (AWOL) International Limited has taken over the construction of the airport.
AWOL Chief Executive Officer, Ambassador Nurudeen Ogunlade said five aircrafts, three passengers helicopter and one cargo by AWOL International Company would take off at the completion of the first phase of the airport in eight months time.
Ogunlade stated this at the signing of Concession Agreement between the state government and AWOL at the governor’s office, Abere, on Thursday.
According to Ogunlade, AWOL was in partnership with a Turkish company, Biray Group for the construction of the airport, disclosing that work would start at the airport on November 9 this year.
The CEO maintained that the funding of the project was 100 per cent the responsibility of his company, stating that the AWOL has negotiated and finalized agreement with the former contractors handling the project.
Enumerating the benefit that the airport will bring to the country, Ogunlade said the airport is designed to facilitate smooth movement of the people and goods from one point to other and serve as a channel way for tourism, hanger and cargo.
Ogunlade said: “Compared with other local Airport, MKO International Airport will open the doors of business and other trade related opportunity among Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kogi, Oyo, Kwara and Edo State as well as our foreign visitors.
“On the completion of the construction of First Phase of the Airport within the period of eight months, it will take off with five aircraft, three passengers helicopter and one cargo by AWOL International Company.”
He said the airport would be completed with the establishment of five Star Hotels, Cultural center, Water Park, Recreation Center and Garden, Butterfly Museum and Casinos within the period of two years.
In his address, Governor Rauf Aregbesola the taking over of the airport construction by AWOL was a divine intervention for the fulfillment of his administration’s dream to make Osun economic viable and self sufficient.
Aregbesola said the government had expended a sum of N2, 926, 27,948.5billion on the airport, explaining that the contractor handling the project had done certified work amounting to N3, 667,178,112.15billion.
He said state government has an outstanding of N640, 970,164.10million which included retention fee to balance the contractor.
Aregbesola stated that in the next two years, flight would be taken off from the airport to all parts of Africa.
The governor submitted that Osun will live to her full meaning as the origin of the world in no distant time.
Explaining the term of the concession agreement, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Dr Basiru Ajibola said the state government has given exclusive right to the AWOL company for the construction, commissioning, maintenance of the airport.
Ajibola explained further that the government did not terminate the contractual agreement he made with the contractors handling the airport, adding that AWOL has taken over the airport construction with negotiation and agreement with the contractor.