Magnus Eze and Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Governors of South East States have asked the contractor handling the reconstruction of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, to consider working at night to beat the deadline.
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), had repeatedly said that the facility would be ready for use by first week of April.
Chairman, South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF), Chief David Umahi, while on inspection of work at the airport, yesterday, urged that those things that could be done at night be handled that way to expedite action on the project.
The governor who expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done so far by the contractor, showered praises on President Muhammadu Buhari for his prompt intervention on key infrastructure in the zone.
Aside the airport, he described as highly impressive, the prompt release of funds for other projects in the zone.
“On behalf of the South East Governors, I’ll continue to thank Mr President for the quick release of funds; not only for the airport but for the Second Niger Bridge. We commend the President for his interest in the South East.
“The quality of work; the speed of work and the timely release of funds; we are also impressed with the quality of work on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway. It shows the interest of Mr President in the South East. The quality of work is very good and the speed is also very good.
“So the airport construction is being done strictly to specification and their speed is good. And according to the supervisor, they have advised them to increase the speed and do some other minor works like fencing and drainage which can be done at night.
Umahi disclosed that renovation work will soon start on the terminal buildings of both the local and international wings of the airport as it was captured in the 2020 budget.
“There’s budget for that and when we went to see the President, he assured that in the 2020 budget, funds will be allocated, we have checked and funds were allocated. So, when the funds for capital projects are released, I’m sure work will get started”.
Federal Government’s consultant handling the project, Mr Sani Baba, assured that the airport will be in use by the first week of April.
On media reports that funds for the rehabilitation project had been slashed from N10 billion to N8.5 billion, the electrical consultant, Mohammed Sadiq told Daily Sun that nothing had changed.
“What happened was that N8.5 billion was earmarked for the civil job while N1.5 billion is for the electrical. They merely separated the contracts instead of lumping them together.”