Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Thursday, said rehabilitation work at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport was yet to commence because the ministry was yet to get the requisite fund.
Sirika stated this at an interactive session between the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation and officials of the Aviation ministry.
He said the Aviation Ministry made a request for a N10 billion special grant to the Federal Government for the reconstruction of the runway of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, but was yet to secure approval.
Regardless, Sirika assured that work on the runway would be completed in December, adding that the government had already negotiated with the contractor and made payment of the initial bill of quantities.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry Mr. Hassan Musa, said the ministry would unveil a master plan for the aviation sector in no distant time. He said the aim is to ensure a total reformation of airports in the country.
Besides, Musa said that there were plans in top gear for the establishment of an aerospace university in the country as well as the establishment of a national carrier.
Speaking on the challenges militating against the aviation sector, the permanent secretary identified poor facilities, lack of manpower and high cost of aviation fuel as the major challenges confronting the sector.
Earlier, the Chairman of the House Committee, Nnolim Nnaji, told the aviation minister that the House is worried over the non-commencement of work on the Enugu Airport, since it was closed for repairs on its runway.
Nnaji noted that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport is strategic to the people of the South East, middle belt and the country at large and urged the ministry to expedite action on the rehabilitation of the airport.