Being the remarks by His Excellency Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State at the Groundbreaking Ceremony to Construct the Nigerian Air Force Base, Ibadan on March 31, 2022.
In November last year, I was in this area for the first-year remembrance ceremony of Pa Theophilus Akinyele. I remember stating on that occasion, that more development would be coming to this axis soon. This is part of our efforts to expand the Oyo State economy and turn this area into an aerotropolis.
What we are about to witness here today – the groundbreaking ceremony for building the permanent site of the Nigerian Air Force base – is part of that overall plan. In fact, to make today possible, the Oyo State Government donated 58.58 hectares of land to develop the new base.
In addition, we will also provide some support in the infrastructural development of the new Air Force Base. Part of that support is the ongoing reconstruction of the 21km Airport-Ajia-New Ife Express Road with a spur to Amuloko.
More recently, we also embarked on dualising the Ibadan-Airport Road and rehabilitating adjourning link roads along the airport axis, with spur roads along the Iwo Road interchange.
With all these ongoing developments, when this Airforce Base is completed, it will be within 15 minutes-drive to Ibadan Airport and into the town.
As mentioned earlier, this is all part of our overall vision to engineer a modern Oyo State. So let me use this opportunity to once again, appeal to the good people of Ajia community to be accommodating hosts and support our plans to bring rapid development to this area.
I must state that this new Air Force Base is not just an infrastructural project. It keys into our plans for a robust security architecture for Oyo State. As more businesses move to Oyo and the State takes a more cosmopolitan outlook, the challenges that we will face will increase. With this in mind, we made security one of the four pillars of our Road Map to Accelerated Development, 2019-2023.
So far, the Oyo State Government has been working collaboratively with the various security agencies in the state. When completed, this new base will improve the operational reach of the Nigerian Air Force in Oyo State and enhance crisis response time. Oyo State will also have the bragging rights of hosting the permanent site of one of Nigeria’s Air Force Bases.
Let me, at this point, commend the efforts of our military personnel in the fight against insurgency, banditry and other security threats in various parts of our country. I will always say that our security agencies often perform a thankless job. No one remembers you when there is peace, but people begin to ask what you were doing once there is a breach. So let me say thank you.
Also, let me use this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the security agencies based in Oyo State and also appeal to you to remain true gentlemen in the discharge of your duties. You must continue to act in ways that bring dignity to the office you are occupying. On our part, Oyo State will continue to support you to achieve your true objectives.
I want to commend the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, for his laudable achievements since he took over the reins of leadership. Indeed, our administration is committed to partnering with the Nigerian Air Force for a better civil-military relationship and improved security in our state.
And on that note, we will be proceeding to perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the building of the permanent site of the Nigerian Air Force Base, Ibadan, to the glory of God and for the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
Thank you, and God bless you.
March 31, 2022