Magnus Eze, Enugu
Ahead of the scheduled closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, for repairs by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), beginning from tomorrow, more groups have joined the South East Governors’ Forum to push for review of the date.
The Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) and the South-East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) in their separate statements, yesterday, appealed to the Federal Government to review the period of closure to 60 days.
ASETU President, Chief Emeka Diwe said though they have repeatedly called for upgrade of facilities at the airport, the government’s approach appeared as if it was out to punish the people of the region.
“It started with government announcing that the airport would be closed without giving details of the nature of repairs and how long it would last. Just as the governors noted, there is also need to give the roads leading to the alternative airports facelift and also make elaborate security arrangements on the routes,” he stated.
However, President General of SEAMATA, Chief Gozie Akudolu, lamented the far-reaching effect the long closure of the airport would have on businesses and commercial activities in the South-East; as the airport remains first airport of choice for traders in the region.
He said that traders in the zone would be the worst affected while the closure of the airport last.
“Much as the reason for the closure of the airport is to fix the failed portions of the airport runway, that will guarantee the safety of the passengers and the aircrafts.
“It is our considered opinion that this can be effectively and efficiently achieved within less than 60 days,’’ he said.