…as Igbo leaders, governors, Ohanaeze laud President
One year and six days after it was shut for infrastructure upgrade while missing completion targets twice, Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu was finally reopened yesterday for flight operations.
The airport was shut down on 24th August, 2019 with the initial completion date of December which was later shifter to March but yet couldn’t meet the target due to logistics problems and COVID- 19 challenges.
It will be recalled that through an application by South East Governors who visited President Bihari in 2019, the president approved a special funding for the rehabilitation of the airport runway and upgrade of other ancillary facilities at the airport.
President Muhammad Buhari, who performed inaugural ceremony, announced that the airport was next in line for concessioning in order to enhance its commercial viability, calling on the people of the region to work with their son and Director-General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuwa, to realize the concessioning programme.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed that Prince Arthur Eze and aviator and chairman of now dormant Triax Airline was among those showing kin interest in the concession.
Buhari said: “We are proud to testify that this project being commissioned today is indeed a testimony to Mr. President’s commitment to the repositioning of infrastructures in the country. You may recall that the runway of this all important airport, which is vital to the economic development of South Eastern region and country at large, was in a very, very dilapidated condition, raising issues of safety concerns.
“It was on this basis that I approached Mr. President and the Commander-in-Chief President Muhammadu Buhari on the urgent need to reconstruct the runway and other associated works. “Today therefore my utmost gratitude go to Mr President, President Muhammadu Buhari, for approving N10 billion to undertake the rehabilitation of the runway with other associated works.
“These works included but not limited to taxi way, link way, emergency operation centre, car park, entrance gate, perimeter fencing, perimeter road, terminal rehabilitation, toilet lounge, instrument landing system that will allow landing in bad weather, communication VSAT, etc.
“I want to call on the people of the zone to take advantage of what your son, Engr. Chidi Izuwa has been doing in ICRC, once we are ready to concession this airport, to take advantage and join hands to obtain this concession for the good of us all. I think the process has started, of course with Prince Arthur Eze who is part of it and you know he is an aviator with Triax and I hope he will come back to aviation fully.”