Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, his aides and top Ministry officials have relocated to Enugu State ahead of the planned reopening of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport on Sunday, August 30.
Spokesman of the Ministry, Dr James Odaudu, who made the disclosure in a statement explained that the Minister’s relocation was to monitor the finishing touches being done by the contractors handling the runway reconstruction and installation of facilities at the airport.
“It is also to ensure that nothing stands in the way of the planned reopening.
“There have been apprehensions about the possibility of the resumption of flights at the airport as planned, as a result of the recent unwarranted and ill-advised pulling down of about two kilometres stretch of the perimeter fence of the airport by an individual claiming ownership of the land on which the fence was raised”, Odaudu noted.
He added that the Minister has assured the public that everything possible was being done to ensure that the South-East region, the major beneficiaries of the project, begins to enjoy flight operations at the airport from Sunday.
Odaudu also noted that Sirika commended the Governors of the South-East States especially Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for teaming up with the Ministry to ensure a successful return of activities at the airport.
Sirika at the earlier rehabilitation of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, had similarly relocated to Kaduna for a number of days to ensure a seamless operation of flights at the Kaduna airport which then served as an alternate to the shut Abuja airport.
The Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu was shutdown in August 2019 to enable the Federal Government reconstruct the runway which had become so dilapidated that aviation experts described it as a huge threat to safety.