Six months after the commissioning of Ebonyi Airport, it has come to light that no Nigerian airline has ventured into the route with commercial passengers.
This latest revelation has raised questions about the airport’s viability and utility, even though the former governor of the state, now minister of works, David Umahi, said his government built the airport for N36 billion.
Checks and investigations suggest that Ebonyi Airport may not be a viable route for airlines, which is why no airline has attempted to operate there.
Ebonyi is known for having one of the highest poverty rates in southern Nigeria, with over 80% of its population living in poverty.
Experts say the economic condition may limit the potential demand for air travel services, making it unattractive for airlines to operate there.
Secondly, while Ebonyi has a comparative advantage in rice farming, it lacks significant rice mills within the state.
Analysts have argued that the billions of naira used to build the airport could have been better utilised to develop rice mills, creating employment opportunities for Ebonyi’s enormous population of unemployed individuals.
The revelation raises essential questions about allocating resources and infrastructure development in Nigeria.
As discussions continue around the Ebonyi airport and its potential impact on the region’s economy, it remains to be seen whether adjustments will be made to make the project more economically viable and beneficial for the people of the state.