Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, runway, so that work could bwgin immediately.
The House also called on the Federal Ministry of Works to rehabilitate roads in the South East leading to alternative airports and routes into the zone.
The Green chamber also directed its committee on Aviation to interface with Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sariki, over the delay in the commencement of work on the Akanu Ibiam Airport.
This followed the adoption of a motion moved by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu and 13 others under matters of urgent national importance at yesterday’s plenary.
Okechukwu, in his lead debate, expressed concern that six weeks after the airport was shut by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to allow for rehabilitation of the runway, work was yet to commence.
He also lamented that all major routes leading to alternative airport in the South East, as well as major routes into the zone have collapsed, thereby subjecting the people to untold hardship.
He stated that despite assurances by Sirika that the rehabilitation of the runway would be completed by December, there were no indications that the contractor would mobilise to site any time soon.
Briefing journalists later, members of the South East caucus, urged President Buhari to provide palliative for the people of the zone, like he did for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) when the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, was undergoing repairs.
Okechukwu, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, said: “Knowing that Christmas is a festive season, we are asking the president to please take appropriate action. The same measure that was taken at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, should be taken in Enugu. We believe that it is only that treatment that could ensure the travelling public enjoy their Christmas. We know the exposures that are available to the people who come by road, the challenges of abstract roads, bad roads and more importantly incidence of insecurity.”