By Ene Asuquo
Cross River State Government has said that the sum of 37bn has been invested into the construction of the International Cargo Airport in Obudu, northern part of the state.
Making the disclosure to journalists in Calabar the state capital recently, the State Commissioner for Aviation, Professor Jake Otu Enya, while briefing newsmen on the activities of the Ministry of Aviation stated that 80% work has been done on the airport which would be commissioned and made functional before the exit of the Ayade government.
According to him, ,”The contract for the construction of the Cargo Airport was awarded in 2019 and since then we have been working with that figure and this is the least when compared to other airports which gulped much higher figures. The work is going on and I can assure you that before the end of this government, it would be commissioned and made functional”.
Prof. Otu Enyia said the state government handed over its two aircraft to Airo Contractors to operate while it worked for the procurement of its Airline Operators Certificate.
” We cannot say we are getting our fair share from the deal with Aro Contractors because they send to us what they feel like after deducting what is the cost of operation and since we are not there they send to us what they think is due us which is why we procured the services of a consultant”
He said there are plans to procure a third aircraft which is the requirements by NCAA for any one seeking to operate an airline should first procure Airline Operators Certificate to take control and management of its airline, the CallyAir.
“We have trained fifty persons to manage our airline and one of the pilots just qualified and two others would soon join him. Air hostesses and other operational staff have been trained and we are ready to manage our airline ourselves when we procure AOC”.
He said procurement for another aircraft had been done and when funds are available the new aircraft would be taken delivery of and this would be before the exit of the present state administration.
“Apart from the cost of the aircraft, there are other charges one of which is to take staff of NCAA alongside us to where the aircraft is to inspect it to ascertain its state before being brought to Nigeria”