Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of state, Aviation
By Emman Ovuakporie, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Lawani Mikairu & Favour Nnabugwu
Abuja—The Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika yesterday said he will resign, if the Abuja Airport runway repair is not completed in six weeks.
He also debunked reports that there would be another 18 week-extension of the repair works.
This came as Julius Berger Plc, the contractor handling the project, yesterday said it had completed 40 percent of the job, as the rehabilitation is to be completed on April 19, having been closed February 8.
Sirika, who made the vow at Aviation Round Table forum yesterday in Lagos, said he staked his name and put his career on line when he told the President, National Assembly and Nigerians that the repair work would be completed in six weeks.
He said he was monitoring the pace of work at the runway, adding that the contractors were keeping to the schedule of .
Sirika, who noted that the quality of work done so far was commendable, said: “I am very comfortable that we will be able to meet the targeted six weeks.
‘’We have a guarantee that it will be done. I will resign if the closure of the runway goes beyond six weeks. My reputation is at stake.”
Sirika, who was accompanied to the forum by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said a lot of studies and consultation were done before Kaduna was chosen as alternate Airport to Abuja.
On the timing of the repair work, the Aviation Minister said the federal government gave the go ahead for immediate commencement of the repair works in March, after extensive consultation with Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NiMET, who availed the government of their rain prediction and assured that there would be cessation of rain during the period the repair works would last.
In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said: “ Since the closure, we have met with Transport and Aviation correspondents in Abuja and have jointly undertaken a tour that took us by train from Abuja to Kaduna, visited and witnessed operations at Kaduna Airport and then returned to Abuja by road.”
Meanwhile, the contractor handling the project, Julius Berger Plc, said yesterday it had completed 40 percent of the job, and promised not to exceed the April 19 completion deadline.