Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has commended Federal Government’s plan to build dry and perishable cargo terminal in Kano, adding that viable airports would contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy.
Mallam Sanusi said this, weekend, during the commissioning of the newly-remodelled international terminal at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
He said such a terminal would give farmers a direct link to both domestic and international market, where they would maximise earnings for their produce.
He said: “For me, as an economist and as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, dry and perishable cargo terminal is the most important and visionary step that the Aviation Minister has taken.
“Airports are not just to carry human beings from Lagos to Kano. It is not just there to make travel easy and comfortable experience for individuals.
“Kano is an agricultural state. It used to contribute 60 percent of the total revenue of the northern region. The only way agriculture is going to come back is for farmers to be linked to the markets.
“I have had the benefit of looking through some tomato survey, feasibility study. There was somebody that I consulted and he said to me, ‘do you know that tomato actually costs more in Lagos and Port Harcourt than in London?’
“In other words, if a farmer can produce tomato in Kadawa and put it on a plane every morning in Kano to get to Lagos or Port Harcourt, he should earn more than you will get it in the supermarket in the UK.”
Sanusi commended the efforts of the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, adding that if other Ministers had been working with the same commitment as Oduah, Nigeria would have been transformed.
“Many people have asked me, how come the Central Bank of Nigeria seems to be always constantly supporting aviation. The reason is that Central Bank of Nigeria supports public servants that are doing something. And the advantage of doing something is that people can like you or not like you; they may agree with you or not agree with you; they cannot take away from you what you have achieved. There is no one that can go to Kano airport or Kaduna airport or Enugu airport or Port Harcourt airport or Lagos airport and claim that things are not happening. ”
Sanusi described the planned cargo terminals as great opportunity for opening up entire population and linking them up to the markets, adding that the idea of dry and perishable cargo terminal recognises that airports are parts of the economic development of a nation.
“I will like to congratulate the Minister for having that vision. This is something that I am sure the people of Kano will welcome and would like to see actualised as quickly as possible.”
“For those who may believe that the Ministry of Aviation does not want international airlines to come to Kano, the question is, if the Ministry didn’t want international airlines to come to Kano, why would they be building an international terminal? So, building an international terminal will take as evidence of a commitment to encourage the airlines to come.”