Gov. Rochas Okorocha has said that the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport is ready and will be inaugurated in the second week of May.
The Cargo Airport is said to be the biggest in Nigeria.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, who made this known in a statement issued in Owerri on Tuesday, said Okorocha announced the readiness of the airport when he received the Director of Commercial and Development of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Sadik Rafindadi at the Government House Owerri.
The governor said he was awaiting the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the project.
The statement quoted the governor as saying he was happy to handover the cargo airport to his successor as a legacy of his administration even as he said that the existing runway would be extended as required by FAAN to ensure safe landing of big cargo aircrafts.
The statement read in part: “The idea of building the International Cargo Airport is to connect Imo State to the rest of the world; we are happy that this project has become a reality and we are waiting for the kind approval of the president to commission the project.
“When fully commissioned, it will increase and improve the commercial and economic activities of the people here.
“This is the biggest Cargo Airport in Nigeria and we are very happy to handover this legacy to the incoming government and our generation yet unborn.
“Imo Government will extend the existing runway to enable the Boeing 737 and other big cargo aircrafts to land safely.
“Most of the big importers in Nigeria come from the South-East and so this will help them in their businesses greatly.
“We are happy that this project has become a reality and we are hoping that in the next 10 days, this project will be commissioned and opened for public use.”
According to the statement, the FAAN Director of Commercial and Development, while presenting a letter from the Managing Director of Airport Authority to the governor, commended him for his vision.
“We thank you for your vision and leadership to construct an International Cargo Airport for your people; you started it from day one and thank God that today, it is now completed and ready for commissioning.
“We have come to thank you for this vision and to tell you that this is not only for the people of Imo State but for the whole Nigeria.
“This project will bring a lot of revenue to FAAN, Imo State government and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.
The airport was solely sponsored by the Imo state government.