From: Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Thursday, inaugurated a security sub-committee on Abuja airport runway closure in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, Sirika urged the members to ensure the safety and security of lives and property before, during and after the Abuja airport runway rehabilitation.
His words: “They’re to provide security cover for air, land and rail transport. These three modes of transport will be in full use during the six-week closure of the Abuja runway. They will help monitor and manage traffic movement into Kaduna from Abuja and vice versa. They’re to provide security for passengers and cargo. Membership include the high-end security officers drawn from various agencies. I’ve no doubt on their capabilities to deliver on their mandate.
“They can add to terms of reference on this task as it concerns the airport closure. We expect security to be water right. We urge members of the committee to be proactive in their terms of engagement and if there’s anything they require urgently, they can reach me directly without any bureaucracy.
“This is a national assignment. Mr President and the entire government are aware and support this project. So, it underscores task ahead for the committee. Let me remind everyone that Abuja airport runway 0422 will be closed on March 8 for six weeks for total rehabilitation of this failed runway. It’s in the interest of the travelling public”, Sirika explained.
The Minister added that the Kaduna State government has since rolled up its sleeves and working closely with the Ministry in ensuring hitch-free movements of passengers and cargo.
In his response, the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Abuja Airport Runway Closure, Alkali Usman Baba said the project remains a vital and national assignment, assuring that the committee would do its best to discharge its duties in line with its mandate.
“Our reference points are clear and we assure airport users and Nigerians in general that we will work collectively to carry out our tasks before, during and after the Abuja airport is closed and reopened. As we speak here, our work has started. Even those rehabilitating the roads, we’re providing security cover for them.
“We’ve also identified our challenges including provision of security for railway terminals in Kaduna and Abuja and major roads. We’re sure of our air surveillance. We’ll work with logistics committee to furnish us with information on movements for those coming into Abuja or Kaduna. We hope our needs and requirements will be Provided”, Baba stated.
Members of the committee comprise Ministry of Transport and Aviation officials, the Police, the Air Force, Army, Department of State Security (DSS), the Aviation Security Directorate of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN); the Nigeria Customs Service, the Civil Defence and other members of the para-military establishments.