Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Bayelsa International Airport
will be licensed to commence full commercial operations by the
relevant federal aviation regulatory authorities before the end of
this month.

The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, disclosed
this during a meeting with the management and staff of the Airport
together with its host communities in Government House, Yenagoa, at
the weekend.

According to Senator Ewhrudjakpo, the state is expecting a visit from
the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on the 23rd of this month,
which might culminate in the certification of commercial flight
operations in the Airport.

His words: “This is no time for protest. It is rather, a time for more
cooperation and hard work for us to achieve what we need to get our
airport to operate fully. If the government is still owing you any money as
a balance for compensation, that should not make you demonstrate.

“We are appealing to you because, by the time the airport starts
operating, you all know the benefits you will all get as workers,
landlords and host communities. The government will look into your demands
and take appropriate steps to address them.

“We must look at and focus on the bigger picture because sometimes if
you don’t focus on the bigger picture, you continue to cry because of
the immediate sparrow.

“The tears in your eyes will deprive you of seeing the stars. The
stars are always there, but (most times), it is because of the tears
in our eyes that make us not to see the stars.”

“However, the good news is that officials of the NCAA are coming on
the 23rd and by the grace of God when they come on that day, and
before they leave on the 25th, we are expecting that they will kindly
give us a licence.”

In their remarks, some members of the state House of Assembly, Mrs.
Ebiuwou-Koku Obiyai, Mr Wisdom Fafi, Mr Oforji Oboku and Mr Felix
Bonny-Ayah, all appealed to the landlords to be patient with
government as regards the issues of compensation and employment.

Also speaking, the Commissioners for Information, Environment as well
as Budget and Economic Planning, urged the host communities to
endeavour to make necessary sacrifices to attract development through
the airport and its ancillary services.

Speaking on behalf of the landlords, the Amananaowei of Amassoma,
Chief Graham Naingba, Spokesman of the Airport Landlords Forum, Mr
Yenigha Ebimode, amongst others, assured the state government of their
cooperation to enable the airport to begin full operations.

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