El-Rufai hopeful of robust economy as Ethiopian Airline begins flights
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has described the Ethiopian Airlines’ international flights, which started yesterday in the state as significant to boosting the economy.
He said regular international flights and the planned inland container terminal in the state would overcome its disadvantage of not being close to a seaport.
He said: “The airlines’ flight from Kaduna to Addis Ababa marks another step in the steady insertion of Kaduna into the global economy. With this direct flight and the imminent operations at the inland container terminal, Kaduna is being upgraded to a port city.
“This is despite the state’s considerable distance from the nearest international ocean for travelling business people. The ability to export and import cargo with little hitch is also being considerably enhanced, ” and promised to support the airline to achieve regular flights.
The governor, who led government officials to board the maiden flight, said the achievement showed Federal Government’s confidence in the airport’s safety.
He added that it had earlier served as an alternative airport when the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja was closed due to its rehabilitation.
The governor said: “This opportunity is giving a considerable boost to the state government’s strategy to anchor growth and development on attracting investments to create jobs, increase internally generated revenues and empower people.
“The investment strategy is receiving emphatic support with investment inflows above $300 million in two years, amidst two successful investment summits.”
He explained that Kaduna is a major road transport hub, agriculture powerhouse and home to many educational institutions. He added that the state was also working to boost the formal exploitation of its solid minerals endowments, revive its textiles legacy and become a hub for information communication technology.
The airline’s Traffic and Sales Manager, Mrs. Firiehiwot Mekonnen explained that they would operate three flights a week, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
She added that the Ethiopian airlines’ confidence in Kaduna airport made it to remain the only operator, which patronised it during the closure of Abuja airport.