The Ilorin International Airport Cargo Terminal nearing completion makes statement. It is an unambiguous statement about the new status of Kwara State as an emerging force in the socio-economic development of contemporary Nigeria. And later this year when it finally commences operation, even the most incurable cynic will have no option than to concede this asserted status as one of the most upwardly mobile states in the country, economically.
Conceived and nurtured to answer some salient developmental questions of today as well as to sufficiently address future infrastructural challenges. The importance of Cargo Terminal of this magnitude can hardly be over-exaggerated in a developing economy that is forward looking.
The multi-billion naira infrastructure is a deliberate pragmatic move to give teeth to robust socio-economic politics of the Governor Bukola Saraki Administration since 2003. The immediate beneficiary of this project will be the agricultural sector because of the export generation drive of the present administration.
Ilorin International Airport Cargo Terminal (side view)
Ilorin International Airport Cargo Terminal (front view)
As a product of a well thought out policy initiative, the Cargo Terminal, by its location and design, is comprehensively positioned to take care of arising multivarious cargo needs of its immediate environment – the North Central Zone and the South West of Nigeria, and indeed, ultimately the West African sub-region. It is modern by all considerations with the state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
The cargo shed now 98% completed is a twin-chambered edifice with the export and import section. Each of the two section is 1,260 cubic meters capacity with cold rooms for cold and wet storage of goods that are time-sensitive. The sufficiently generous spaces of the sheds, especially the cold rooms are anticipated to take care of processed products and materials.
A parade of the state-of-the-art equipment at the cargo terminal presently shows the fire-fighting vehicles, security patrol vehicles, a cargo screening machine; airfield recovery equipment, airfield ground control equipment, water tanker, trolley made of stainless steel, ramp handling services equipment and a 15 KVA Inverter for cargo aircraft night handling.
At the Cargo Terminal too are modern facilities like an ice machine, a high pressure cleaner, UV dryer, weighing scales and a stainless steel system.
One of the cold rooms
The Generator House
The ramp links the cargo shed to the loading bay where trailers and truck can load and offload goods. The roller shutter is both manually and electronically controlled.
Work is still continuing in the apron where planes land to load and offload. It is 70 meters x 100 meters. The apron is the link between the tarmac and the cargo shed. Work on the apron had reportedly reached about 40% level last year before a minor alteration (little expansion) was effected on it and the service road.
The front forwarder that is designed to be the administrative building is presently ready for use. Though a federal project, the construction of the cargo terminal is presently being founded by the state government with the expectation of being reimbursed later by the apex government.
Everything about the cargo terminal project is built to the specification of the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), which is in turn informed by the standards of the International Aviation regulatory body.
When it becomes operational, the cargo terminal’s immediate major beneficiaries will be the New Nigerian Farmers in Shonga whose Agricultural produce will be taken to markets in South Africa, Europe and other parts of the globe. These products include dairy products, cassava and poultry as well as horticultural products.
Source: Kwara State Web Site