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Enugu airport rehab to cost N8.5Bn

Federal Government officials overseeing the rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport runway have revealed that the contracted sum for the ongoing project is N8.5 billion.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on the request of Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika, directed the release of N10Bn for the job.

Chief Executive of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Yadudu, disclosed the contract sum on Thursday, 9 January 2019, to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation.

The outstanding balance of N1.5Bn has been retained by the Ministry, he said.

Yadudu appeared at the meeting with other heads of parastatals in the Minis3try, including Fola Akinkuotu of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and the contractors handling the airport project.

Project consultant, Mohammed Sani Baba, boasted that a fully loaded Boeing-747 (400 series) will be able to land and take off in Enugu when they finish the job.

Mr. Akinkuotu assured that the 600 meter runway will not fail again, as it did six years after it was previously rehabilitated in 2010, because it is now being done with proper stabilization at the base.

This was affirmed by the contractor, David Emerson, who said that concrete pavements were also being added at the end of the runway.

Project consultant, Mohammed Sani Baba, boasted that a fully loaded Boeing-747 (400 series) will be able to land and take off in Enugu when they finish the job.

“If it can do that all other aircraft is child play,” Baba said.

The lawmakers said they were keenly interested in seeing the project completed on schedule.

“Aircraft must land at Enugu Airport before Easter,” Hon. Nnoli Nnaji, the Committee chairman, advised.

The committee members informed the project handlers that they will visit in three weeks to assess further progress of work in Enugu.

“We will meet the date,” the contractor assured but noted that they were having the challenge of getting specific stones they needed for the runway.

Although they have located quarries where the specified stones could be mined, they complained that unnamed communities were preventing their trucks from getting to the sites.

They were however advised to meet with relevant state governors to surmount the problem.

FAAN closed the airport on 24 August 2019, throwing local and International passengers who use the airport into distress

Local flights were thereafter diverted to Asaba and Owerri airports while international passengers were rerouted through Port Harcourt.

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