(UPDATED 17:05:35; 17 October 2019)
Reports monitored from Abuja indicate that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that 10 billion Naira be released to reconstruct and upgrade the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, following pleas of South East leaders who met with him today 17 October 2019.
“I have approved the sum of 10 billion Naira for an Intervention fund for the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. I hav
e the assurance of the Minister of Aviation that the work will be done speedily and to the highest standards,” the President was quoted to have said, before the leaders went into a closed door meeting.
He later took to Twitter to reaffirm the message.
“Even as we have many items competing for our limited resources, we will continue to prioritize infrastructure investments in every part of the country. It is our responsibility to ensure Nigeria’s infrastructure is fixed. we will keep doing this,” the President said after the State House meeting.
Before the meeting, leader of the delegation and chair of the South East Governors Forum, Gov. David Umahi, told newsmen that they came to ask the president for two things: declare an emergency for South East roads, and give special consideration to the rehabilitation of the Enugu airport.
We are happy – Umahi
“The good takeaway from the meeting is that we are happy because Enugu Airport will be alive again. We are happy with the hardworking Aviation Minister,” Gov. Umahi said as the leaders emerged from the meeting.
The Governor who briefed newsmen, observed that there is a disconnect between the region and infrastructure arising from what he described as “deplorable state of roads in the zone.”
He said the delegation told the President that the state of South East roads and the closure of Akanu Ibiam airport has worsened the plight of people of the region.
The President, he said, noted the complaints and promised to act on them.
Umahi reported that the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, was also at the meeting and said that the impediment against the take-off of work at Enugu airport has now been addressed and that the project would commence without further delay.
The Ebonyi Governor said the attention of the President was also drawn to the state of Sam Mbakwe Airport in Enugu, stating that there is a need to expand its runway and carry out extensive work on the tarmac.
Below is a role call of some the Igbo leaders in the delegation:
- Gov. David Umahi (Ebonyi)
- Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu)
- Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia)
- Gov. Emeka Ihedioha (Imo)
- Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia)
- Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi)
- Dr. Nkem Okeke (dep. Gov. Anambra)
- Chief Pius Anyim Pius (Ebonyi)
- Former Gov. Martin Elechi (Ebonyi)
- Former Gov. Okwesilieze Nwodo (Enugu)
- Former Gov. Sullivan Chime (Enugu)
- Former Gov. Achike Udenwa (Imo)
- Former Gov. Ikedi Ohakim (Imo)
- Chief Nnia Nwodo (Ohaneze President)
- Also at the meeting were Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu, Eric Acho Nwankwo, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Chief Reagan Ufomba, and Prof. Chigozie Ogbu.