Not long ago, the Federal Government shed the old toga of the entry point by giving it a new name. The airport will now be addressed as Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu Airport, Akure, Ondo State.
Aliu is the first African President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council, who served two terms from 2014 to 2017, with outstanding, indelible marks.
Flight operations in and out of the Akure airport are improving. Coming soon is the aerotropolis project; a gigantic one, about to be embarked upon by Ala Resort, the brainchild of Moyosola Niran Oladunni, a man passionate about aviation.
His stint in aviation started with the introduction of a seamless, effective, and very impeccable collection of tolls at the Murtala Mohamad Airport, Lagos about two decades ago.
Oladunni is setting at joining other notable Nigerians and international partners, to bequeath a cozy haven that will be richly habitable, homely, endearing, and enticing to comfort seekers around the Akure airport.
With the groundbreaking on May 9, 2023, Ala Resort Ltd has announced its plans to transform Akure Airport into an aerotropolis.
The project, Oladunni said is in partnership with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). The May 9 event which drew eminent Nigerians like the former Minister of Trade and Industry, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo; former Minister of State (Transport) counterpart, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and the Acting Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, there is no doubt that the project is set to roll.
From the template, the aerotropolis, the first of its kind in sub-Sahara Africa, is designed to be equipped with all that is needed for comfort: a hotel, meticulously designed houses, orderly car parks, well laid out road network, a sports academy with the Ala River, a flowing in-between city as a signature to the name, the resort boasts to give tour lovers traveling abroad to catch fun a run for their leisure.
As the acting Governor, Aiyedatiwa said: “Aerotropolis City will take care of travellers and create an adventure for the people.”
He also assured that the project would thrive, noting that success is assured because Ondo State is safe, and visitors to the Aerotropolis City would have no reason to fear, since all the security agencies including the state security, Amotekun Corps, would provide adequate security for the people.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ala Resort, Oladunni, reiterated that the project would be completed within a period of seven to 10 years.
He stated that the project would adhere to local content in terms of engaging residents of the host community when the construction starts.
Oladunni explained that the firm didn’t take with levity the architectural designs of all the structures within the Aerotropolis City.
According to him, at the commencement of work, the company would adhere to local content by engaging the host community among other Nigerians to ensure a boost in commerce around the zone. He said the firm aims to also provide utilities needed at the Aerotropolis.
These include power and gas supply. “No fewer than 14,000 skilled workers would be engaged by the Aerotropolis City,” Oladunni said.
The beauty of the aerotropolis project is that it will bring commerce to Ondo State through tourism and also boost patronage at the not-too-busy-for-now Olumuyiwa Aliu Airport
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has done well by supporting creativity that will boost commerce around one of its airports. The Ala Resort, when in full operation, would turn around the Akure airport, the host community, and other adjourning communities.
Olanipekun, (SAN), is the Chairman of the board of Ala Resort. He is of the opinion that the planned transformation of Akure Airport would reshape the economy of Ondo State.
According to him, the project would trigger economic activities in Ekiti and Osun states due to the proximity of the location of the project.
“It will serve as the go-between. Its growth and evolution will rest on carefully planned world-class infrastructure that will enable it to develop rapidly.
Indeed, the Ala Resort project will improve the revenue generation of the Ondo State and the aviation industry in Nigeria.
It will reduce the unemployment rate in the state and the nation at large as no fewer than 14,000 skilled workers are marked down for employment.
The project is expected to foster economic growth just as the Akure airport has the capacity to be elevated to an international airport in no time.
The Ala Resort aerotropolis is one project many stakeholders are committed to