BENUE State Governor, Samuel Ortom, is optimistic that the newly inaugurated Air Peace flight to Makurdi will open the state to direct foreign investment.
Ortom said this during the inaugural flight of Air Peace to Makurdi yesterday.
The News Agency of Nigeria’s, NAN, correspondent on the inaugural flight from Lagos-Makurdi-Abuja reports that flight number P47440 from Lagos at 7am was filled to capacity.
The governor said the partnership would attract investors to the state.
He said the state will record remarkable progress and success story with the flight, noting that ‘‘the fear of investors coming by road has been addressed with Air Peace flying into the state three times a week.
‘‘This will push socio-economic development of the state and further provide greater opportunities to indigenes.
“This will also reduce unemployment. I thank Almighty God for this historic event,” he said.
Minster of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, George Akume, lauded the governor for attracting the partnership of Air Peace to the state. “Attempts that had been made to attract commercial air transport into the state had not been successful but this one that was done by the governor was a success story.”
Akume said regular flights to the state had been a challenge, but today saw the realisation of a long awaited success. “It is a credit to the governor. It is another proven success of the people of Benue State,” he added.
On his part, the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, said the decision to extend their wings to Makurdi was borne out of the original vision of the airline to interconnect various cities across Nigeria, thereby fostering unity and promoting economic relations.
Onyema, who was represented by the Grand Operations Manager, Air Peace, Mr Ayodeji Adeyemi, said the Makurdi route had actually been a popular demand by Nigerians, assuring that the new connections would be operated on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
According to him, the airline is constantly reviewing its route network to meet public needs, while considering strategic ways of expanding the network to provide immense value to Nigerians.
“It is with great delight that I stand here today to deliver this address to mark Air Peace’s entry into Makurdi. For us at Air Peace, this is a historic feat as no airline currently operates flights from Lagos to Makurdi. We have been earnestly looking forward to this moment and we are glad that it is finally here,” he said.
Onyema said the Makurdi route had been on the airline’s radar for a while since it signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with the state government.
“Today, as we commence flights into Makurdi from Lagos and Abuja, we are promising that this new route will be optimally serviced and Nigerians will benefit exceedingly.
“We also pledge to work very harmoniously with all the stakeholders domiciled in the state, the aviation regulator, airport administrator and of course, the state government to ensure maximum success.
“We are not oblivious of the employment opportunities that this new route stands to create for indigenes of the state as Air Peace was primarily set up to fill unemployment gaps in the country.
“We solicit the continued support and cooperation of all relevant stakeholders for the airline to keep accomplishing lofty feats,” he added.
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