By Appolos Christian
The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has said that the state under his administration will prefer to build a Dryport instead of an Airport.
Governor Ikpeazu, who spoke in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state, at the weekend, thinks that a Dryport will serve greater economic interest of the Abia populace than an Airport which he said would serve less than 10 per cent business interest of the state.
“As Governor of this state, I am thinking of a Dry port. I have heard people ask why not an Airport, and I want to seize this opportunity to officially respond to the issue of an Airport. For me, the need for a Dryport will serve the economic interest of my people better than the need for an Airport.
“I am happy to acknowledge the fact that neighbouring states to Abia have Airports. What that means is that within 100 kilometers radius, Abia will have access to airport, but what you cannot find within a hundred kilometers radius is a Dryport”.
“An Airport in Abia will likely serve less than 10 per cent of the Abia populace and business interest, considering that such airport would not have an operational international cargo status, where our people can import or export directly.”
“So, I think the way to go is to look at what will serve my people, about 95 percent of goods you find at the seaport in Apapa and Onne ports including those that are delayed for three months belong to my people here in Abia.
“As the Governor, the question I ask myself is; can I in any way lift this burden when I bring them to a point of importing or exporting goods from Abia, that is why I think that a Dryport will serve the business interest of my people than an airport.”
Emphasizing further on the investment benefit of a Dryport, the Governor said: “Governance is a very serious issue and you don’t take decisions about investment because it will favour you, but you take decisions for investments based on the fact that you are sure of returns on investment and the prospect of how far and how well you serve your people.
“I want everybody to pray that we make this dryport happen in our time and that will satisfy me”. Ikpeazu said.