From Petrus Obi, Enugu
Enugu State House of Assembly has frowned at the deplorable state of facilities at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, calling on the Federal Government to undertake an urgent rehabilitation of the airport to give it international status.
The position of the House was sequel to a motion of urgent public importance brought before it by the member representing Nsukka East Constituency, Chinedu Christian Nwamba.
Nwamba told his colleagues that facilities and structures at the airport are in a deplorable state, hence, “the need to urgently undertake its rehabilitation in the interest of users of the airport as well as staff in the establishment.
“Mr. speaker, honourable colleagues, the structural decay at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu is unbearable, unbefitting of an international airport and a serious threat to both users and staff of the airport,” Nwamba lamented.
He noted that the situation became worse as the rains came and the attendant wind storm that blew off some parts of the roof and ceilings.
“As it is now, the parts of the roof and ceiling that are half pulled, pose serious danger to users and staff of the airport as no one knows when they may pull off. completely”
While thanking the federal fovernment for upgrading the airport to international status, Nwamba reminded the government that the airport is the only international airport in the entire South East geo-political zone and as such, should be given the attention it deserves.
“The Federal Government should be mindful of the fact that Akanu Ibiam Airport, being the only internal airport in the region, should not be allowed to be grounded to a halt, as that will bring untold hardship to users of the airport and, also, reduce internally generated revenue accruable from the airport.”
Contributing to the debate on the motion, Obinna Okenwa, representing Enugu South Urban, said the motion was timely because the airport was becoming a death trap due to the blown roof and cracked walls which he said do not depict it as an international airport.
Okenwa said, compared to other international airports in Nigeria, Akanu Ibiam International Airport fell short of expectation and wondered if the Federal Government is neglecting the airport as it did to federal roads in the state that the Enugu State Government had to undertake the rehabilitation of roads to save carnage.