The Governor of Cross River State, southern Nigeria, Senator Bassey Otu, has expressed his administration’s readiness to partner with the management of the Margaret Ekpo International airport in Calabar to resume international flights.
Governor Otu made the remark when the manager of the airport, Ayinla Gbolahan and his team paid him a courtesy visit.
Otu recalled, “there was a time the Calabar airport used to fly international routes, at least to nearby countries like Equatorial Guinea (Malabo), Gabon (Libreville), the Republic of Cameroon (Douala) and the rest, but the reverse is now the case. That situation needs to change.”
Continuing, the governor stated, “we are ready and willing to work with you in anyway possible to ensure that we change the face of that airport by partnering with the relevant federal government agencies.
“I know very well that the Margaret Ekpo International Airport in no distant time will not be able to accommodate the influx of people, who will come into the state either for business or leisure,” he noted.
He emphasized the need for an effective and efficient air travel system in a state determined to transform its socioeconomic status through tourism.
He further said, “for any meaningful progress to take place in a state, it is important to get an effective and efficient air travel system in place and by the grace of God, we will achieve that. I have heard your requests, I promise to look into some of those within our capacity and purview.”
In a remark, the manager of the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Ayinla Gbolahan, congratulated the governor on for retaining his election victory at the tribunal and the willingness to support efforts to reposition the airport.
Gbolahan reasoned that for sustainable tourism industry growth and positive socioeconomic transformation of Cross River State, there was need to drive human traffic into Calabar, noting “the Margaret Ekpo International Airport has the capacity to handle an influx of travelers in line with its title as an international airport.”
He further stated, “to enable the airport operate optimally, there is need for support from the government; collaboration between the state and the management would be key because at the moment there is the need for power supply and security of critical installation at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport.
“We hope that with your support, we would be able to address those priority areas. On our part, we are completely committed to ensuring that Nigerians and everyone, who uses our airport is better served and in the process encouraged to pass through our facility,” he stressed.
He was accompanied on the visit to the governor of Cross River State by a cross section of his management staff.