Gov’t allocates 255 hectares of land to construct modern airport in Tiko.

The Governor of the South West Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, has revealed that government has allocated some 255 hectares of land for the construction of a modern international airport in Tiko.

He made the revelation during the ad-hoc commission meeting in Tiko. The meeting was organised to sensitise the population, evaluate properties and update the file to secure the Tiko Airport land.

“…it covers a total surface area of 255 hectares of land, repartitioned as follows; 159 hectares dedicated for the actual construction of the airport infrastructure and the rest of 106 hectares reserved for future expansion,” Bilai explained. 

In 2022, government had announced plans to renovate and reconstruct the old Tiko Airport.

However, after studies by experts, government concluded that the old airport area was not suitable for the modern airport envisaged by the Head of State. 

During the first preparatory meeting in September 2022 to evaluate the old airport, experts concluded it could not fit current standards. 

“In September 2022, we had the first preparatory meeting regarding at the time, the rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure at the old, but still existing Tiko airport or airstrip. However, upon field visits and technical evaluations, it was observed by the competent specialists that in the technical parameters and specifications of this particular project, the present site of the old Tiko Airport is no longer suitable to host this modern project,” recalled the Governor.

The new site, according to the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Betan Energy, Wilson Dacosta, the contractor of the Tiko Airport, enables hitch free execution of the project. 

“The new site gives a lot of flexibility and possibilities for extension and actually achieves the vision of the Head of State to construct an airport that meets all the requirements and standards without destroying houses, infrastructure or disturbing members of the public,” he said.

In this light, the contractor has promised to commence work immediately.

“As soon as the contractual obligations are finished, we will start bringing caterpillars and moving earth to build the facility,” he pledged.

Airport will be pride of SW, Cameroon

The airport previewed by President Paul Biya according to the Governor, will be the pride of the region in particular, and Cameroon in general. 

“What the Head of State has granted the South West Region is not simple reconstruction of the former airport infrastructure, but the construction of a befitting international airport that will be the pride of our Region in particular and our country in general,”, he boasted.

Due to the vested interest of the Head of State and the benefits of the project to the population, the governor has invited all stakeholders involved in the project to increase their level of commitment.

“We need to increase our level of commitment in view of achieving the expected results, in this regard I encourage everyone to ensure their availability for the total accomplishment of this important task by making pertinent and important contributions or observations that will enable us to live up to expectations,” he urged.

He has thus challenged them to submit their final evaluation reports in two months for evaluation and validation by the competent authorities.

Stern warning against encroaching

While appreciating government for offering the land to develop the airport that will meet the standards set by President Paul Biya, the Governor warned against unscrupulous individuals and local authorities from encroaching on the land that has been reserved for the old airport. 

The land, he insisted remains state land and must be protected.

“I would like each of us to bear in mind that the surface area of the former land of the Tiko Airport, which remains an integral part of the landed property of the state of Cameroon, will be fully demarcated and secured. In this regard, it is necessary that locally elected officials and local administrative authorities continue to sensitise the population because any persons who encroach or trespass therein will do so at their own risk and should not complain about the consequences and sanctions,” he warned.

He regretted that individuals encroaching on state land were doing so with the complicity of local authorities. He has promised to embarrass all local authorities engaging in such practices.

“Those encroaching do so with the complicity of local authorities; Local, municipal, traditional rulers and religious authorities. They should know that if they want to embarrass the administration, they themselves would be embarrassed. Your job is to protect and safeguard state property in Tiko,'' he stated.


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