NIGERIA – Nigeria through its Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, would be completed by April 2020. The Minister also said that the national carrier would soon be a reality.
According to the Punch Nigeria, the Minister of Aviation revealed this in an interview with journalists shortly after he defended his 2020 budget before the Senate Committee on Aviation.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week approved N10bn Special Intervention Fund for the immediate repairs and upgrade of the Enugu airport.
Mr. Sirika said his Ministry was waiting for the release of the approved money and that the time for completion would certainly be before Easter next year.
“We are waiting for the release (of the N10bn) and I am sure it will be released very soon,” the minister said.
He added that the government was meeting with the contractor and that the contractor would give the government his programme of work.
“we will look at that programme of work diligently and ensure it is procured within the time and within the budget. And the time for the procurement certainly will be before Easter,” Sirika added.
On the national carrier, Sirika said, “I have been consistent on this issue of National Carrier; it is coming very soon.”
“We have finished the outline business case, which had been duly considered by Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission and passed,” he added.
He further revealed that the ministry has set up a committee as required by law and by the programme, the government will go to the market very soon and “once we are in the market, we will procure.”
Asked how the Ministry had been able to curtail the issue of air crashes, the Minister said that they had put in place all necessary requirements to ensure safe flight operation in the country.
He also revealed that the ministry is going to ensure that aircraft personnel are trained and retrained to make them competent in managing air operations.
“We regulate them to ensure they are doing the right things and at the right time and ensure that they are so proficient enough to be able to handle the operations safely,” concluded the minister.