The foundation for the construction and take-off of the multi-billion dollar aerotropolis project at Minna airport has been laid in Minna, Niger State.
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Remi Olumuyiwa, head, external relations of Maevis, facilitator of the project said in Lagos that the choice of Niger state was encouraged by its tourist destinations including, Gurara Falls in Boru Village, Zugurma Park , Shiroro Hydroelectric Dam, Mungo Park’s Cenotaph and Kainji Lake and National Games Park.
An aerotropolis is a new type of urban form comprising aviation-intensive businesses and related enterprises extending up to 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) outward from major airports.
It consists of an airport city and outlying corridors and clusters of aviation-linked businesses and associated residential development. A number of these clusters such as Amsterdam Zuidas, Las Colinas, Texas, and South Korea’s Songdo International Business District have become globally significant airport edge-cities representing planned post-modern urban mega-development in the age of the aerotropolis.
Olumuyiwa said Maevis would work with a consortium of private sector players, including a UK-based architecture firm, Sheppard Robson, and financial institutions to deliver the aerotropolis.
He stated that construction would begin soon and the first phase would be delivered in 2013, adding that in the last 18 months, the company had been working on the port city project and that the Niger state government was committed to the project, which had also been endorsed by the federal government.
“We have gone beyond government endorsement of the project, by assembling the best team of experts for the project. We have to move to the next level, by unveiling the team of experts that will design the project and do the master plan for the operating environment. We have the support of partners, both local and international and our bankers; we also have anchor tenants who will bring manufacturing concerns; we will bring trading and business to the place. A lot of things that will bring new dawn for Nigeria and Niger State… We hope to create a brand new Dubai in Minna, Niger State; our hope is building it in a manner that it will be expectations of everybody.
“With the Minna airport city, we hope to reduce the number of Nigerians who travel to Dubai to buy all sorts of goods. After all, most of the goods sold in Dubai are not made there. Our goal is to ensure that anybody that will visit the Minna airport city will have the best experience in life. Game reserve, water falls and a few other things. It is far bigger than an airport project; it has a transportation project, a major transportation project, with roads, rail, water,” stated Olumuyiwa.
He explained that aerotropolis were powerful engines of local economic development, attracting aviation-linked businesses of all types to their environs. These include, among others, time-sensitive manufacturing and distribution; hotel, entertainment, retail, convention, trade and exhibition complexes; and office buildings that house air-travel intensive executives and professionals.