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Lawmakers declare Enugu Airport unsafe

Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu

By Ikuru Lizzy

The Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Aviation on Thursday expressed worry over the deplorable facilities of some airports in the country and declared the Akanu Ibiam Airport unsafe.

Sen. Muhammad Adamu (APC), representing Kebbi Central, expressed displeasure during a tour of the facilities of the Port Harcourt International Airport.

Adamu said that the Senate had between 2015 and 2017 appropriated funds for completion of the remodeling of airports across the country.

In a report on the state of the Enugu Airport, Adamu said the situation was worrisome and needed urgent remedial measures to protect the airport’s users.

Describing the airport as unsafe for airline operations, the lawmaker urged FAAN to summon the contractors to fill the existing potholes on the runway for the safety of passengers.

“What we saw in Enugu airport was a very serious infrastructure decay, we saw potholes on the runway and this is very unsafe for aircrafts to land.

“We are surprised that international flights are operating at that airport where there is no running water and the toilets are in bad shape,’’ he said.

Adamu disclosed that some international airlines like the Emirate Airlines had wanted to begin operations in Enugu but couldn’t because after inspection of the facilities, they found there was no water or operational light on the runway.

According to him, it was impossible for aircrafts to land at night in Enugu airport.

The senator also revealed that despite the payment of over 40 per cent of the contract sum for the new terminal that was being funded by a Chinese Bank (Exim bank), the terminal had remained in a state of decay.

He said that so far, records had shown that over N9 billion had been spent on the said terminal.

He added that as part of their constitutional responsibility on oversight function, the committee had embarked on the tour to ascertain the projects so far executed with the appropriated funds.

The lawmaker assured that the committee would not hesitate to appropriately bring any organisation found guilty of funds diversion to book.

In the same vain, Mrs Nkiruka Onyejeocha, (PDP), representing Isuikwato/Umunneochi (Abia State), said that delayed job performance on the ongoing International Wing of the Port Harcourt Airport was equally worrisome.

She said that going by the contract schedule, the job would have been delivered in March 2016.

On the local wing of the Port Harcourt Airport, she said though the airport was safe for light operations, it was below the standard of an international airport.

“It is unfortunate that at this time when other nations are moving forward, Nigeria is rather destroying her national assets.

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