The people of Amassoma community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have expressed joy over the ongoing international airport project sited in their community.
While commending Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for envisioning the airport, they said it would provide gainful employment to Bayelsans, accelerate economic prosperity, promote peace and stability of the state and the region.
The airport is billed for completion in August this year.
According to a press statement signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, the community leaders spoke at the airport on Friday after a facility tour of the airport project.
The tour was led by the Ebenanaowei of Ogboin Clan, King Oweipa Jones Ene, who described the siting of the project in Amassoma community as phenomenal and heartwarming!
King Jones-Ere also called on the Federal Government to fulfill its part of the contractual obligation towards the airport project, assuring the state government of the people’s commitment to protect the project.
“Words are not enough to describe my joy that we are hosting a powerful, gigantic and modern airport,” the monarch said. “We will do everything to support and protect this airport and we are positive about its expansion.”
Also in his remarks, the Amananaowei of Amassoma Community, Major Graham Naingba (Rtd), expressed delight that the airport project would go a long way in reducing the unemployment rate in the state as well as provide training for the youths.
Responding to questions, the Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Kuroakegha Dorgu, announced the approval of N200 million by the state government as compensation to the land owners, assuring that the money would be paid by the end of this month.
The Director, Bayelsa Airlines, Elizabeth Daitare-Akpama, assured the community leaders that the project would be completed by the end of August this year.
Mrs. Daitare-Akpama, who said the facilities at the airport had reached advanced stages of completion, said the terminal building has the capacity to accommodate 500 passengers.
She explained that the 3.5 kilometre runway has reached 75 per cent completion, while the taxi park facility is about 95 percent completed, noting that the state government has also created space for expansion of the project.
Also in her remarks, a Commissioner in the Assembly Service Commission, Aperetari Ogugu, commended Governor Dickson for establishing the project in Amassoma and assured him that the people would always rally round his restoration government.
In her contribution, Alaere Raine, an architect, said she was highly impressed at the pace of work on the project, describing the airport as an economic booster that would also set the standard for facilities such as hotel and residential accommodation that would spring up in the area.
The Chairman of the State Housing and Property Development Authority, Joseph Akedesuo, who is an indigene of Amassoma, said it was a rare privilege for his community to host the international facility and expressed the hope that Amassoma people would benefit from the project.
“I relish the fact that, the first airport in the heart of Ijaw land will witness the first flight in the next couple of weeks. I am here to thank Governor Seriake Dickson for bestowing on us this rare privilege to host this project and we are giving the assurance that we will be a good host community.”
In their separate speeches, the Youth leader of Amassoma community, Joseph Douyi and Mrs. Goodhead Akpos lauded Governor Dickson for the project, as it would increase commercial activities in the area.
Other facilities inspected include the Control Tower and Fire Bay.