Gov. AbdulRazaq launches Air Peace flight in Kwara
Our Ilorin Correspondent
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State has flagged off the inaugural flight of Air Peace in Ilorin, saying that the new addition to Kwara air route establishes the northcentral state as the new investment destination in Nigeria.
AbdulRazaq was represented by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi at the inauguration held in Ilorin on Thursday.
According to him, this inaugural flight of Air Peace and many other investments coming to the state are testimonials of how far we have evolved as the new investment destination in Nigeria.
“We will not rest on our oars to ensure that Kwara reclaims its place as a first generation state that is highly competitive. We are indeed ready for business.
“This is the best period to invest in Kwara State. Not only is our administration one of the friendliest nationwide in terms of our policies, ease of doing business moves, and attitudes to the private sector.
“We have also been making huge investments in human capital and infrastructural development that have made the state a go-to place in the country,” he said.
The governor announced that the state is hosting the special agroprocessing zone and a free trade zone of the federal government, while existing big businesses and SMEs are expanding just as new ones are springing up.
“Whether in the health sector where we now host some of the best facilities in central Nigeria, or in the innovation, tourism and technology where we are putting in place some of the best infrastructures in West Africa, Kwara has strongly registered its presence on not just the national scene but also in the entire subregion as the emerging hub for agribusiness, ICT, tourism, and general 21st century knowledge economy,” he said.
AbdulRazaq noted that the state’s social investment programmes, which target the poorest and the vulnerable, have helped to strengthen social cohesion and communal peace.
He said the present administration is paying detailed attention to issues of security and youth bulge through community engagement, political inclusion and empowerment initiatives.
“Working together with the security agencies, Kwara is today among the safest and most peaceful states in the country. Because Kwara State is peaceful and its people are so accommodating, thousands of people and many businesses are heading in this direction,” he added.
AbdulRazaq commended the Management and Staff of Air Peace for the strategic decision to add Ilorin to its routes and assured them that the development would be a win-win situation.
Speaking on behalf of the chairman Air Peace, the Safety Manager of the airline Godfrey Ogbogun said the decision to ply Ilorin is part of the company’s strategic expansion of its routes to plug the gap in Nigeria air travels and give the Nigerian public multiple network options.
“For us at Air Peace, we considered it as momentous feat as we will be operating daily flights from Lagos into Ilorin and Abuja.
“We have been looking forward to this day and we are happy that it is finally here.
“We also extended our wings to Ilorin today with the support of the state government under His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. Air Peace is promising the people of Kwara and its environs seamless and affordable air travels.”
For his part, Vice President Western Zone National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) Hezekiah Afolabi said the coming of Air Peace to the state would increase the annual internally generated revenue of the state with over $30 million annually.
“It will generate maximum internally generated revenue of more than $30m annually to the state as an alternate to petroleum through tax.
“It will increase the existing fame of the state to attract both domestic and international tourists and Nigerians in diaspora.
“It will promote local traders and other stakeholders such as travel agencies, tour operators, tour guides, restaurants, taxi drivers and hotels,” Afolabi explained.
He urged the state government to rehabilitate all marketable and potential tourism sites in all local government areas of the state and major cities to increase IGR and the income to stakeholders.
Afolabi promised NANTA’s unreserved support to partner with the state government to actualise big dreams for economic prosperity, growth and development of the state through tourism sector.