Gov Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has explained why his administration floated an airline in time of recession in the country.
The governor said that he believes it would increase the state's internally generated revenue (IGR) as well as generate employment opportunities for the youths.
At the launch of the new airline at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport in Owerri, the governor said that the investment was meant to boost economic activities in the state.
The Governor noted that it has been his dream and sincere desire to position Imo State on the fast lane of development, prosperity and growth, adding that he won't rest on his oars until that dream is realised.
He also said that Imo is not affected by the much-talked about recession in the country because, according to him, some people might wonder why the state would dabble into airline business in time of recession.
“This is a happy moment in the state. The aim of going into the air business is because I want to drive traffic to Imo State as Imo is genuinely becoming the fastest developing city outside Abuja and Lagos.
“For this, there is need for more airlines to cushion the effects of high traffic coming to the state,” he added.
Furthermore, he stated that the “Imo government does not have an operating air license. So we needed to partner with a good and qualified airline operator, hence, the choice of DANA Air because of its proven track record and sincerity of purpose.
“The Imo Air will be operated by DANA and we have a contract of ten years with them. We have five of this aircrafts and the first one has just landed and four others will start operation in few weeks time.
“The International Cargo Airport will soon kick-start to supplement the efforts of Imo Air.
“Work is going on smoothly and by April, the fastest International Cargo plane will arrive Imo State. This, we believe, will help drive up commercial activities in the state.
“Imo is a hub for business and there is no better place to invest now in Nigeria than Imo State. In spite of the recession, the state is still flourishing and progressing because of its visionary leadership,” Okorocha said.
He also hinted that “Imo Air will offer a 10% discount to all indigenes of the state flying the plane and the operation will equally employ over 30% of Imo sons and daughters to help in the management of the Imo Air”.
(c) Christian voice newspaper