By Solomon Asowata
Akure – Gov. Rotimi Akerodolu of Ondo State has commended Air Peace for extending its domestic flight operations to Akure, the state capital.
Akerodolu made the commendation on Sunday at the Akure Airport after the airline’s inaugural flight to the state from Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Boeing 737 aircraft with registration number 5N-BQO, which landed at the airport at 1.45 pm, was received by aviation officials and other top dignitaries.
Akerodolu said that the government decided to partner with Air Peace because of its belief that air connectivity would help to attract investors to the state in line with its objectives.
He said :”Our drive today is for investment and a lot of our investors want to come in.
“We have had problems with them since I came into office because they have always complained about the time they used in travelling from Lagos and the hazards on the road.
“As we all know, the roads are not so good in terms of physical state and other hazards like armed robbery and kidnapping . So, we are so worried that a number of them after coming here do not want to return. ”
According to him, some civil servants on official duties have also been kidnapped on the same route, but the move by the airline will help to avoid such incidents.
To this end, Akerodolu said a circular had already been issued making it mandatory for government officials and employees on official engagement to Lagos to fly with the airline.
The Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, expressed optimism that the beginning of direct flight operations between Akure and Lagos would jump-start the effort of the government to open up the state to massive investment.
Onyema said the airline decided to fix the air fare at just N10, 000 to encourage the flying public and also support the vision of the government in making the state a tourism and investment destination.
“Ondo State is an oil producing state. It also has a lot of agricultural products attractive to investors. So it has a lot to give to Nigeria and humanity.
“We are optimistic that if we are able to sustain this operation, a lot of jobs will be created and business opportunities will increase here in the next few months, ” he said.
The airline boss also used the opportunity to advise Nigerians on the benefits and importance of having a united country, appealing to those fanning the embers of disunity to stop their agitation.
Mrs Cecilia Oguema, the Akure Airport Manager, thanked Air Peace for bringing its services to the airport, noting that it would boost socio-economic activities in the state.