When the first phase of MKO Abiola International Airport, Ido Osun in Osun state is completed, the facility will save the country a foreign exchange of N22 billion per annum. The contractor handling the MKO Abiola International Airport in Ido-Osun, Osun, on Thursday said that the first phase of the N69 billion project would be ready within eight months. Mr Nurudeen Ogunlade, the Chief Executive Officer of AWOL Group of Company in charge of the airport project, disclosed this at a news conference in Osogbo on Thursday. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osun Government, on Oct. 26, signed a concession agreement with AWOL for the construction of the airport.

“The concession agreement will be on “Build-Operate-Transfer” basis and to last for 30 years.’’

The contract was first awarded on Oct. 14, 2012 at the cost of N4.5 billion and was to be completed within eight months. The contract was later reviewed to N11 billion. Ogunlade said with construction of the airport, the economy and tourism potential of the state would be fully realised.

“The state’s tourism potential will not be fully realised without an international Airport. And tourism is likely to be our foreign exchange earner for a long time to come.’’

Ogunlade said the airport project would provide about 10,000 jobs for youths during the construction period and 2,000 jobs after its completion.
He said that there would be a cargo and maintenance section as part of the airport structural design which would be one of its kind in the country and the West African sub-region.

“With the increasing alarm in agriculture food shortage in the country, the MKO Abiola International Airport will double up with manufacturing products and food bank warehouse cargo sector.’’

Ogunlade said the airport project was increased from N11 billion to N69 billion under the concession agreement due to its expansion and other modern facilities that were included.
He, however, said that the airport, which would be built on 839 hectares of land, would be funded 100 per cent by the company.
On his part, the State Commissioner for works, Mr Kazeem Salami, said the airport would bring development to the state after its completion.