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…to get FG supervise concession of Ebonyi Int’l Airport is a strategic economic policy

By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki

Ebonyi State Government, yesterday fired back at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for misinforming the general public on the State Government’s proposed arrangement to get N10 billion from the Federal Government and to have the Federal Ministry of Aviation supervise the concession of the State International Airport.

This arrangement was further highlighted in a leaked Memo written by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State to President Muhammadu Buhari.

But the Ebonyi State Chapter of the PDP through its Publicity Secretary, Barr. Silas Joseph Onu, in a press statement, countered the decision of the State Government, saying ‘One question comes to mind at this point – is the Ebonyi State government selling off the airport to the Federal government at the rate of N10billon? This is the only defensible rationale for such an act which has now become a norm in Ebonyi State.”

Continuing, the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Ebonyi State, Hon. Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji stressed that “to have Federal government supervise the concession of the State International Airport is one of the strategic policy initiatives of Government aimed at enhancing greater capacities in the development and sustainability of the various life-transforming economic facilities created by Ebonyi State government, in order to enhance job opportunities and engender economic stability in the state.”

According to him, “the various economic facilities created by this administration, including the Shopping Mall, the State Christian Ecumenical Centre, the International Airport, the Margaret Umahi International Market, the University of Medical Sciences, the various Industrial Clusters among others are viable economic stimulating ventures that are by their nature amazing money-spinners that require Public-Private Partnership in funding and management.

“It is therefore not out of place that the State Government has the intention to have Federal Government supervise the concession of one of her critical infrastructure. This is more so as Federal Government has regulatory and supervisory powers over Airport construction and management structure in Nigeria.”

The statement read in part: “We have tracked the social media post by a busy body who presents himself as Joseph Silas Onu, State PDP Publicity Secretary, and we have noted the content of his lifeless publication dated,21st September 2021 and the mischief sought to orchestrate.

“We state in clear terms that the reasoning canvassed in his publication, in all ramifications, depicts a man of shallow mental comprehension of the workings of government and a political extremist who glories in dishonourable idiosyncrasy and unwholesome political mood pattern.

“We are not surprised about the motive for the incoherent argument of Joseph Silas Onu for we are aware that he has got no idea to offer to save his highly fractionalized party in the State, but thinks his mandate is to feed the gullible with unfounded alarm

“It is only a feeble-minded personality or a half-baked character that can misunderstand the clear word ‘concession’ as used in the soundly and unambiguously couched State Government’s letter being cited by Joseph Silas Onu.

“It is a common knowledge that by the creation of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development for Concession, Government’s policy direction on the concession of critical Infrastructure is a concept which governs economical benefits derived from a concession arrangement. A concession here contemplates an arrangement for someone or organisation to run a business belonging to another and nothing pretentious.

“The state government’s decision to seek financial assistance and her intention to have Federal government supervise the concession of the State International Airport is one of the strategic policy initiatives of Government aimed at enhancing greater capacities in the development and sustainability of the various life-transforming economic facilities created by Ebonyi State government in order to enhance job opportunities and engender economic stability in the state.

“It has become obvious therefore that the officials running the affairs of PDP especially the likes of Joseph Silas Onu are fragile administrative toddlers who are unfit to earn the people’s mandate at any level of Government because of the level of their intelligence quotient.

“We, therefore, urge members of the public to distance themselves from the dark and clueless argumentations of these political jobbers and their league of fake alarmists who think that party politics is run in dead conscience.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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