Posted by News Express | 3 May 2021 | 289 times
By IFEDIORA C. AMOBI
An airport plays a vital role in determining the economic power of any city, state, region or country, and is very crucial for business, tourism and trade. For the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, the economic benefits are overwhelming to not only the people of Anambra State but the entire South East region.
Anambra, with its large, stimulating and dynamic market has sufficient demand for air travel as well as the right geographic location, and with this highly developed infrastructure that was successfully tested on Friday, the State is now ready to handle both passengers and cargo and to become an international hub for trade and commerce in the entire region.
According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, 70% of Nigeria’s air business travelers are from the South East, while 67% of the annual cargo that lands in Lagos is transshipped to Onitsha, Nnewi and Aba. In the first six months of 2019, MMIA Lagos and NIIA Abuja recorded 4 million domestic passengers between them, with Port Harcourt (547,972); Kano (261,903); Owerri (210,948); Benin (153,560); Enugu (143,597); Akwa-Ibom (110,658) and Maiduguri (102,516) performing relatively well. For international passengers during the same period, Enugu ranked fifth after Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt. This shows that there is tremendous potential for the new Anambra Airport.
In terms of the economic benefits, the Anambra airport will (a) promote urban development and modernization, and ensure the rapid expansion of its environs, with a ripple effect transcending beyond Anambra State; (b) stimulate tourism and global business that will increase revenue/IGR and grow Anambra’s GDP as well as that of the neighbouring communities; (c) create thousands of direct and indirect jobs and boost training and skills acquisition for Anambra youths in areas such as technology, engineering, health and safety, administration and finance, etc; (d) significantly ease or possibly eliminate the current situation where our merchants are engulfed in the very prolonged processes of importation of goods from various countries, thus improving the efficiency of their supply chain; (e) develop the use of aviation in agriculture to increase the productivity of farm produce in Anambra State through aerial application of pesticides and fertilizer; and (f) drive global trade and e-commerce, and act as an enabler with catalytic “spin-off” effects on all industries in the State, particularly those around the Nnewi industrial axis. Ndi Anambra will be astonished to know how small volumes of air cargo amount to big values in world trade.
The potential of the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport is awe-inspiring. Over time it will be more than just a passenger, cargo and aircraft refueling airport, it will lay the foundation for a new city incorporating world-class facilities, infrastructure and character that will provide tremendous benefits and create jobs and wealth for all the people today, and for generations to come.
•Dr. Ifediora C. Amobi is Executive Director, Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA).
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