Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Cargopolis Development Consortium (CDC), Dr Daniel Tarka, has said that the proposed Benue Cargo airport is on course and would be completed as scheduled 2019.
Tarka who spoke during the interactive session with representatives of Benue state and staff of federal ministry of transportation, said that the project was in line with the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement would contribute 15 per cent to the construction cost payable, on completion of the project.
He disclosed that it would cost the consortium £100 million or N38 billion to complete the Cargo Airport in Benue ranging from the arrangement to compensate the communities for the land and the building of the structures, stating that they would fund the project wholly without the state government contributing anything.
According to him, “At the moment, we the consortium had directed that data of economic trees and other things that needed to be compensated should be taken. The land allocated for the construction of the airport was 5000 hectares and we are hoping that the project would be completed in 2019 and according to specification. With us [consortium] having 85 per cent, while the state government 15 per cent equity’.
Tarka explained that as a Consortium, CDC has viable partners such as Sinohydro Engineering Company reputed to be the largest hydropower company with a 50 per cent stake of global hydropower market, as well as China Railway, No. 3 Engineering Group (CR3) and JDZ Nigeria Limited with world class construction pedigree.
Director, Safety and Technical Policy of the federal Ministry of Transportation said that they were in the state to carry out an in-depth data analysis of the land proposed for the Benue State Cargo Airport project, to ascertain whether the land is suitable for the project or not, before any construction.
Captain Alkali certified that even though the Ministry is yet to analyse the data to be collected from the site, the Makurdi Cargo Airport Project is situated at the right place and in compliance with the Civil Aviation Act 2006 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He maintained that government of Benue state had involved the Ministry of Transportation in all activities pertaining to the airport, which according to him, was the right step to take when embarking on such project that would draw international attention and recognition.
Captain Alkali said, ”we are in Benue state to inspect the project site for Joint Regulatory Permit and Approvals of the project. We believed that the governor of Benue state has done well for involving the ministry of Transportation and ensure that the right thing is done for the good of all Nigerians. More also that he was a former supervising Minister of Aviation, he will not deviate from the Civil Aviation Act”.
The Chairman, Benue state economic team, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar, in his address said that the project was so dear to the state because it would bring lots of development to the state, stressing that the state would export yams, fruits and other sundry crops across the globe.