By Jubril Bada
The moves by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Ondo State led by Arakunrin Olurotimi Akeredolu, SAN, to turn around the economy of the state through various strategies may have started paying off, as patronage of an airline invited by the state government is currently gathering tremendous momentum.
Commenting on the impact of the airline arrangement by the APC-led administration, a chieftain and member of Board of the Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Bode Olajumoke, described the arrangement as a right step in the right direction capable of boosting the economy of the state.
He said: “I flew into Akure last week Wednesday having despatched my drivers as early as 6am by road from Lagos. They were at the airport to meet me just as I landed! (30mins flight time). I left Akure yesterday on the 14:10 flight to Lagos and my drivers who had left Akure earlier at 6am were at MM1A to take me home (25mins flight time). The Air Peace Akure – Lagos flight arrangement is a delightful idea. I am reliably informed that there is an Abuja-Akure flight too. I heartily congratulate Governor Akeredolu on this lofty idea and on the choice of Air Peace – certainly the leading local airline. What a delight and relief to fly in such comfort”.
He charged the operators of the airline to make the fares affordable after the expiration of the ongoing promotional fares to encourage the people to use the airline more.
According to him: “My appeal is that whatever further increase especially for the economy class, it should be affordable for the masses. On my Lagos-Akure flight, there were 54 passengers and on the Akure to Lagos flight, we were 110 passengers! So the airline is doing well!, kudos!”
Reacting, State APC Director of Media, Mr Steve, Otaloro said: “We in the All Progressives Congress (APC) wish to commend the forthright stance of the elder statesman, Chief Bode Olajumoke for not playing politics with the people-oriented programmes of the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration in spite of the fact that he belongs to different political party. His words of courage would definitely attract more patronage to the airline and investors to the state, having portrayed the desire to see the state develop irrespective of which political party is in the saddle.
“We, (APC) however, call on the people of Ondo State and those in the diaspora to invite their business associates to invest in our state now that hours spent on the road have been reduced to 25 to 30 minutes.”
“Governor Akeredolu had embarked on the arrangement to encourage and attract investors to invest in the state by reducing the time spent on the road and making it possible for investors to fly in for businesses and jet-out after completion of transactions same day.
“Deplorable state of highways in the country had, to some extent, undermined the influx of investments that some states would have recorded.
“It is expected that with the new development, some investors would look the way of the Sunshine State to explore and exploit various business opportunities that abound in the state”.