Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Abuja Airport Closure: We Are Placing The Lives Of Nigerians Over Billions- Minister

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that the Federal Government would rather lose billion of dollars as revenue at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja from its closure from February to March this year than lose the lives of Nigerians. Sirika in Abuja, yesterday, said the decision to close the airport for total repairs on the runways was informed by safety and security concerns for the passengers.

The Federal Government, he noted, was aware of the likely discomfort and inconvenience the proposed closure of the airport will cause air passengers, airline operators and other service providers, but explained that it was in the best interest of the passengers.

Giving a breakdown of the repairs to be carried out on the runway, Sirika said: “From start to finish of the runway, it will take six months. However, we will be using the runway throughout the period except for about six weeks when the runway will be closed.

“The government has accepted the design done by the contractor. The runway will last for more than 10 years on completion.”

Sirika said Abuja bound passengers from any part of the world will use Kaduna airport as alternative during the six weeks closure of the airport to passengers. He said arrangement had been finalised with Kaduna State, adding that while the Federal Government will provide buses to convey the passengers to Abuja, the state government will provide security.”

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