Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, on Tuesday assured anxious Nigerians that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu would be reopened for flight operations by August 30 as ongoing rehabilitation would have been successfully completed by that date.
He gave the assurance while inspecting rehabilitation works at the facility, which he said was now 95per cent completed.
Sirika who was accompanied by heads of aviation agencies regretted that the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the pace of work at the airport
He said: “The COVID-19 came and the workers took to their heels to ensure they remained safe with their loved ones. So, we came back and we are back on site.
“Again, we have made tremendous progress and we are about 90 – 95 per cent done with this job.
“We are on the runway itself while you can see the perimeter fence and road is going on and other works to ensure that this airport including air lighting is delivered for day and night operations and truly answers the name Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
“Well, you know the season now is rainy season and just like COVID, the rainy season is a monster to construction or procurement of this nature. But the contractor is doing extremely well, and the consultants also and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria who is the client. I’m happy to say that I’m very glad to see the progress of work and I’m very happy at the rate at which they are going and I’m very confident that this procurement will be delivered on the August 30, 2020..
“So, we will be inviting you, either on August 30, or on the 31st to open this runway for use with most of the associated works”, Sirika explained.
He thanked the Governors of the South-east for their commitment and cooperation.
On the terminal building, he said it was about 60 perv cent completed, assuring that it would be completed and commissioned with the runway.