By Udo Ibuot
UYOâ€”AKWA Ibom State government has urged the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation to prevail on the Federal Government to rescind its contemplation of any new national hangar other than that being constructed at the Akwa Ibom International Airport.
The state governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio who made the remarks when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation led by its chairman, Mr. Bethel Nnaemeka Amodi paid him a courtesy call at Uyo, held the view that setting up a new national hangar would amount to a lack of national policy focus.
Akpabio who spoke through his deputy, Engr. Patrick Ekpotu, said it was better for the nation to focus its attention at developing the hangar at the Akwa Ibom International Airport, given the resources that have been expended on it and because the last federal administration had consented to the idea of making the hangar at the AKIA the national hangar.
The governor told the committee members that in view of the commitment of the Akwa Ibom State government to ensuring total compliance with international best practices for safety and comfort, every stage of the Akwa Ibom Airport project had been executed with the supervision of the relevant federal agencies, adding that doing otherwise would â€œnullify the huge resources already expended on the facility as contributions to national development.â€
Akpabio said the project could have been hastened but for the decision of the State government to deliver an airport of global reckoning that would be the pride of Nigeria and also serve as a cargo hub for the entire region of the Gulf of Guinea.
He also made a case for on import duties for equipment and other peculiar instruments of the airport in view of the huge financial cost still to be incurred on the project, stressing that savings from such waivers, would be channelled into financing other critical areas of the international airport.
Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Bethel Nnaemeka Amodi, who said his committee was in the State to take a critical look at the airport project, lauded its massiveness and mentioned that â€œit is one of its kind in the recent history of Nigeria.â€
Amodi who commended the high quality of work on the airport, said his Committee was in support for the Federal Governmentâ€™s decision to make the hangar component of the airport a national hangar.