The decision for Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra to start the construction of Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport two years to the end of his tenure amid economic challenge and recessionwas seen as a huge task.
Perhaps, that may have prompted the doubting ‘Thomases’ not to see the possibility of completing and inaugurating the project in the life of this administration.
However, the project has been done, delivered and yearning for full operations with about one year remaining in his tenure.
Similar to the scenic Singapore International Airport that sprawls into the banks of an ocean, Anambra’s airport sits like a golden nest between five hills and waters.
It is built to be an environmentally friendly marvel in line with Anambra’s unique taste and style. It has a 3.7km runway and a hanger section of about three football fields by two in dimension
According to Obiano, the project benefitted from the services of seven contractors from around the world; three from South Africa, two from Lebanon and two from Nigeria.
The runway, tarmac and apron were constructed by South African contractors; the Lebanese IDC company built the taxi road, while a Nigerian company, proved its worth in other crucial sections of the project.
The beauty of the facility is in the avoidance of pitfalls that mark such projects in Nigeria. For example, its ability not to retain water in any section of the tarmac after rainfall.
Part of its sense of giving ndi Anambra an airport comparable to world beaters is a landing space that can comfortably take even aircrafts as big as the Airbus 11 aircraft in the take-off and landing.
The airport also has not just a clinic but a well equipped hospital and a trauma centre. Its expansive runway is capable of taking-in two aircrafts simultaneously for take offs and landing.
The terminal building has three escalators, three lifts, two bridges and 36 shops.
The Government of Anambra State also procured three high quality state-of-the -art fire trucks that can spray water as far as three miles radius to guard against fire emergencies.
Huge and impressive as the project is, a factor that must not be missed is that all the financial engagements of the contract have been fully met.
With all these qualities and properties, it is hard to imagine how they were quietly achieved within such a short period. Another question that comes to mind is how it was possible for such a magnitude of project ongoing in the state, yet people did not take much notice of it.
What detractors were busy selling to gullible minds were the inter-communal crisis in Aguleri and Umueri. Interestingly too, nobody in Anambra government joined issues with the detractors.
Apparently, the governor’s saying that “my eyes are on the ball” captured his soul commitment and focus on the project.
That singular focus marked by disregard of detractors which has become a hallmark of Obiano, has as usual, given ndi Anambra a big historic facility.What more could define the astuteness of a man so much gifted with vision?
Anambra Airport indeed is a legacy project posterity will honour the Obiano for ages and a charge for ndi Anambra to walk tall anywhere in the world. But beyond these, the governor is already setting benchmarks for the next person to rule the state. Excellence must beget excellence.
It is imperative that seasoned managers from Anambra be made to handle the airport and sustain its envisioned values. Anambra has the human resources to meet this expectation, if not surpass it.
Anambra born aviation mogul, Allen Onyema’s aircrafts will be touching down the Anambra Airport tomorrow, while another iconic scion of ‘Mother Anambra’, Obijackson, has promised to also land his aircraft at the airport during the test-landing.
More ndi Anambra are gearing up to take the aviation industry to the next level. Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport may turn the spring-board for unprecedented venture into aviation business by the savvy Anambra entrepreneurs.