The Benue Government stands to earn about N3 billion monthly from taxes and other benefits from the cargo airport when fully operational in 2021.
Mr Daniel Tarka, the Coordinator of Cargo Polis Development Company (CDC), the consortium building the airport disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Makurdi.
Tarka said the consortium would invest about N38 billion into the project, representing 85 per cent of the total project cost, while the Benue Government would invest N5.6 billion, representing 15 per cent.
The coordinator said the project, which had three-year completion period, would include an aviation school fully equipped to train aeronautical engineers and pilots.
He said the consortium would manage the facility for 25 years and hand it over to the state.
Tarka said that within the 25 years of its operations, the company would pay back all loans it incurred and recoup its investments.
He said that the company was looking at the economic value chain as a vehicle of driving the project to its success using both the “front and back end approaches”.
The project coordinator said the company needed to expand the capacity of farmers to meet the demands of the airport by supplying them with improved seedlings that would satisfy the expectation of foreign buyers.
Tarka said all over the world, airports had become instruments of driving the economy, adding that over 40 per cent of economic transactions were done by air.
The coordinator said the airport was designed to evacuate more than 500,000 tons of commodities daily to over sea markets, adding that local farmers had to be assisted to meet the target.
He said that the refrigerated warehouses to be constructed in 15 local government councils of the state would open up the rural areas and transform local farmers to commodity brokers.
He chided those criticizing the project, saying they were doing so from the standpoint of ignorance.
Tarka said the elites and politicians were criticising the project, while the local communities where the project was sited were enthusiastic about the benefits that would accrue to them.
He said that the company was planning a road show to sensitise the people on the benefits of the project, which he said, would curb rural-urban migration and create jobs for the people.
He denied that the location of the airport was informed by political considerations.
“It has nothing to do with politics; in fact this project was conceived in 2012 under the PDP government and would outlive the tenure of the incumbent administration.”
The project coordinator said government was collating data for compensation to enable it commence payment of compensation to farmers whose lad had been confiscated for the project. (NAN)