By Lawani Mikairu
As the nation counts down to the planned reopening of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, on Sunday 30th August 2020, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has decided to immediately relocate to Enugu along with his officials and aides.
According to James Odaudu, Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, the Minister’s relocation to Enugu is 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”.
The Minister has, however, given assurance that everything possible was being done to ensure that the ” people of the South East region who are the major beneficiaries of the project, begin to enjoy flight operations at the airport from Sunday”.
Sirika also commended the governors of the southeast states especially Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for joining efforts with the Ministry of Aviation to ensure a successful return of activities at the airport.
Recall that the Minister, during 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 shut down in August 2019 to enable the Federal government to reconstruct the runway which had become so dilapidated that aviation experts described it as an accident waiting to happen.