From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has justified its planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, saying the situation of facilities there are unacceptable and below internationally-accepted standard.
To prove this point, a Lufthansa airplane is said to have been grounded in the last three days at the airport after it had its landing gear damaged while landing.
This was disclosed on Monday by Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, while responding to the concerns of the negative impact of the closure of the airport by the President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Frank Udenba-Jacobs, who made a presentation on behalf of the Organised Private Sector (OPS).
Amaechi was speaking at the second Presidential Business Forum, a platform to engage and interact with the private sector to keep them abreast with government’s policies, programmes and activities. The event was presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
In the words of the minister, “We are not going back on closure of Abuja airport. I understand that Lufthansa landed and damage their gear and have been here for three days. The runaway was built to last for 20 years but it has been in use now for 34 years. We cannot do it only at night. We don’t want to loose anybody. We are not repairing but rebuilding. If anything happens you will ask us to resign and we don’t want to resign.”