From: Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State said his administration has so far spent close to N2 billion in preparation for the planned flight diversion from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja to Kaduna International Airport this March.
It would be recalled that, the Federal Government had, in December, 2016, announced the closure and subsequent diversion of both local and international flights from Abuja to Kaduna in order to give room for the repair of Abuja runway within six weeks starting from 8th of March 2017.
el-Rufai who stated this while playing host to Corps Mashal of Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi at Sir Ibrahim Kashim House, Kaduna yesterday said, the money also cover construction of new road that links the Airport to train terminal at Rigasa suburb of Kaduna.
According to the governor, “we have committed close to N2 billion of our resources to the airport. We are building a link road from the train station to the airport. We are financing police outpost, resurfacing western bypass with solar street lights, we are rehabilitating airport link road from Mando with street lights from our inadequate resources.
“If the experiment succeeds, Kaduna stand to get some gains. We are confident that Kaduna would be ready, we are working on security and infrastructure. 48% of passengers that fly out of Abuja are from Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi states.
“Kaduna state government has awarded contract for the construction of emergency reception facility at Doka to be ready in months and world class trauma Centre with helipad for emergency evacuation, MRI, RT scan to be ready before the end of the year or early next year”, El-Rufai added.
Commenting on recent directive by the state government that personnel of FRSC should limit their energies to highways, Boboye said the Corps had policy shift to focus on federal highway and allow states set up traffic management agencies.
“The Corps will then transfer responsibility of traffic control of the state and urban roads to the state agencies, while focusing on the federal highways. 16 states have since set up their traffic management agencies and we are sharing responsibility by regulating their activities.
“We are setting up eight additional outposts along Kaduna-Abuja highway with four on Kaduna side, two will be sited along bypass, one at the train station and one at the airport. We are also setting up four more ambulance points along the road”, explained the Corps Marshal.
He however tasked the state government to equip Doka Hospital saying, “we move crash victims to St. Gerard Hospital and some of them die along the way. The hospital needs to be equipped to serve as a traumatic center, Kaduna state government need to do something about it. Most of the crashes take place about 300 meters either side of the hospital because it is a long stretch of road which force drivers to over speed”.