Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi has advised states to initiate projects to profit the poor rather than pursuing ventures serving only the rich.
Amaechi, who gave the advice at the weekend in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, while fielding questions from reporters, noted that airports were elitist projects and would not benefit the poor.
The minister, who was on an assessment visit to projects executed by the Ogun State government on behalf of the Federal Government, added that the country has many unviable airports.
“Governors should focus on things that would improve the lives of the poor, not the rich. It’s the rich people that fly planes. How many poor people know where airport is, let alone flying an aircraft?”
“I believe that the construction of airport should be backed by the growth of the economy. There are airports that are built just for the governors to land and take off. That won’t be the idea for me as a minister of Transportation.
“I’d prefer that airports that are built would be backed by economic demand. We would not discourage Ogun State if you like to build an airport, but we would like to advise that they should look at the economics of an airport,” Amaechi said.
But he promised the state of Federal Government support, if it wants to build an airport.
He said he was in the state to ascertain some federal roads built by the government.
Amaechi announced that a railway line between Lagos and Calabar as well as Lagos and Kano would begin this year.