A need for cargo airport in Southeast

KayCee
By KayCee January 7, 2016 21:35

I Found this interesting piece online,written by Acho Orabuchi.

Periodically, I meet with fellow profes­sionals to discuss current affairs, particularly economic and socio-political issues concerning Nigeria. A couple of weeks ago, I had a lunch meeting with a Nige­rian professional with vast experience and knowledge in management in various technology and energy industries
Well, our discussion centered on a wide range of ways to help Nigeria achieve economic and social prominence consid­ering our knowledge and experience in the United States. We touched on some of the ways the past governors could have utilized states’ resources to spark economic development in the South East­ern region; they could have embarked on projects with lasting economic benefits to the citizens of the states.
During our discussion, the issue of the proposed cargo airport in Anambra State precipitously came up and it dominated the rest of our conversation. One fellow had a different view of the import of the project. I earnestly seized the opportu­nity to educate him on the economic vi­ability of the project if rigorous efforts were made before the construction of the airport. At the end of our discussion, he bought the idea that the project would economically and socially revitalize his state. Sometimes, it is imperative for one to maintain a critical distance from the rages of politics to properly evaluate the economic benefits of proposed projects coming from the new governors in the zone. Once one’s frame of mind is cloud­ed with emotions and politics, it is diffi­cult to see any good in what these chief executives are doing
Cargo airport in any part of Southeast is a laudable venture any state government can embark on. Most importantly, it is a legacy or signature project that would stand the test of economic times when it finally becomes and of international standard. For the government of Anam­bra State to resuscitate the abandoned Oba-Onitsha Cargo Airport project, which was conceived in 1993 by Dr. Pius Chukwuemeka Ezeife’s administration, is commendable for various economic and social reasons.
The economic impacts of a well-thought out cargo airport are enormous, especially when the facility is well maintained and expanded as necessary. It is pertinent to note that a site that does not lend itself to expansion for the project would have a short-term economic impact on the re­gion, particularly in the state. As a result, efficient Oba/Onitsha Cargo Airport ven­ture would spur massive economic activi­ties such as the concentration of forward­ers, air cargo carriers, truckers, including the support and ancillary services that would, in turn, have huge multiplier ef­fects
The airport would attract the location and expansion of shippers, distribution channels, manufacturing and suppliers in and around the port to take advantage of multi-modal services available as a result of the airport. The manufacturers and distributors would bask in locating around the airport because of the ease to transport high-value goods. Airports and related airport activities generate signifi­cant employment and income for the cit­ies around them. The rise in employment and income in the region would, in turn, spark enormous economic growth in the area and reduce poverty.
The cargo airport would engender eco­nomic competition through increased freight connectivity, efficiency and easy access to various markets such as Onit­sha, Nnewi, Enugu, Asaba, Benin, Orlu, Owerri, Umuahia, Aba, Port Harcourt and other minor markets. It would have the potential to attract new businesses, there­by providing economic competitive ad­vantage to the state and the region. With the foregoing I encouraged the governor of the state to waste no time to complete the cargo airport project.
The Oba/Onitsha Cargo Airport, effi­ciently run, will not only provide access and facilitate commerce, but will also generate employment and wealth, with its direct and induced impacts lasting de­cades. Also it has the potential to bring capital investment to the affected or sur­rounding areas as its share of internation­al trade increases.However, a thorough feasibility study has to be done to build a cargo airport for optimum economic im­pact in the region. It will be a boon to Ni­geria, particularly to the immediate areas where the airport is located.
Nevertheless, necessary factors such as capacity constraints, market growth po­tential and ideal location, including net­work of roads, availability of warehouse space, ground handling, and distribution facilities must be considered for the air­port in order to develop critical mass. This type of project should not be taken lightly and proper provision for mainte­nance must be articulated.
In any case, a chain of socio-economic benefits that would come to the region as a result of Oba/Onitsha Cargo Airport are thus: high standard of living resulting from increased employment and high in­come, increased economic development, and skilled workforce. The region would welcome the reduction in poverty and in­crease in international investment an ef­ficiently run Oba/Onitsha Cargo Airport would bring.
Interestingly, it is hard not to broach the economic reality that the South East re­gion would benefit from a single project like cargo airport of international stan­dard. As a result, cooperation of other South East governors would be greatly encouraged regardless of the site of the

Written by Acho Orabuchi

a_orabuchi@yahoo.com

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KayCee
By KayCee January 7, 2016 21:35