Efforts by the present administration aimed at opening up Ondo State to direct private sector investments from diverse frontiers have again yielded fruits.
This heartwarming development came as “Air Peace” made its inaugural flight to the Akure Airport to begin a five days in a week flight operations into the Sunshine State from Lagos.
Speaking at the historic occasion attended by a large personalities across the state, the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said approaching governance from a proactive perspective is the much needed change that can stimulate industrial and technological growth. This strategy, the governor said, he had imbibed since taking up the mantle of leadership of the Sunshine State.
According to him, All Progressives Congress’, APC, mantra, ‘Change’, had the inherent power to accelerate growth and development that would ultimately make lives greatly meaningful for the people of Ondo State.
“This is a new beginning. We are witnessing the power of change today. This is how to start it.” he said.
The governor advised top government functionaries, businessmen and indigenes of the state to take advantage of the 45 minutes air flight to Lagos from Akure at N10,000, over security challenges and road poor infrastructures.
“I want to beg us all, let’s take this seriously. We have issued circulars out to civil servants but we want to tell the populace, these incidents of kidnapping is getting out of hand.
” We can, on our own, get out of their hands. When they don’t see you they can’t do anything. It must stop, particularly with our civil servants,” he said.
Arakunrin Akeredolu expressed gratitude to the management of Air Peace for its decision to join hands with the State Government in a bid to transform the state.
“They are not here for money, they are here because they were convinced they could assist us. There is no way you can have an air flight, not even from Ibadan to Lagos at N10,000 and that is exactly the amount for the flight from Akure to Lagos,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace Airline, Barrister (Chief) Allen Onyema, stated that the governor’s style of governance attracted him into the state.
Chief Onyema described the governor as a principled, disciplined and visionary leader who believes on what God can do and not what man can do, adding that his achievements is not all about his vision, but his faith in God Almighty.
“I am floating the Airline because I want to preach peace and create job opportunities for the indigent people in the country. I’m using what God has blessed me with to touch other people’s lives, that is why I have come to Ondo State.
“I’m also here because of Governor Akeredolu. I have never met him before, but I have been an admirer of his uncommon style of leadership”, he said.
The Chairman stated that bringing Air Peace to Ondo State was to contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of Ondo State with a strong belief that a lot of untapped resources abound in Ondo State.
“Ondo state has a lot to give to Nigeria, the world and to humanity. It is regrettable that most of these resources remained trapped and most people are not doing anything about them.
“We decided to come to Ondo State in order to encourage investment into the state. We want to attract investors who would contribute towards the development of this state.
“The Chinese, and other Nigerians are coming and lots of jobs would be created here, and in few months, the investment opportunities in the state would be drastically increased”, he stated.
The Chairman who described Ondo State as peaceful and populated with principled people with great minds, commended Governor Akeredolu for opening up the state and connecting it to other parts of the country and the world.
“To come here is not enticing to any airline, but we have to develop this country and when you see a governor that is visionary, ready to help his people, I believe someone like him has to be encouraged and that is what I have come to do.
“I believe in the unity and oneness of this country and I believe that when everybody has a job to do, insecurity will cease.
“I want to appeal to others whom God has also blessed, to use their wealth to impact on other people’s lives”, he said.
Also the Manager of the Akure Airport, Mrs Cecelia Ogoma commended the efforts of the governor for opening the state to the world through the attraction of the new airline.
Mrs Ogoma who also lauded the management of the airline stated that the step would furtherb attract many investors into the state which according to her, is blessed with lots of mineral resources.
Personalities who attended the historic occasion include : Wife of the Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwun-Akeredolu; the Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi; Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde; Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly; Head of Service, Mr. Oluwatoyin Akinkuotu; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale and Permanent Secretaries in the State Civil Service.
Others are State Private Sector Operators of in the state; State Chairman of APC, Engineer Ade Adetimehin; State Commissioners designate; Special Advisers designate; Senior Special Assistants; Members of the State Excutive of APC; several trade unions and artisans.