The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Thursday said that the Federal Government has mobilized the contractor (PW) handling the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the runway and other facilities in the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, to site, preparatory to commencement of work.

It will be recalled that the Enugu airport was closed barely three months ago for the repairs of the runway and other renovations, following concerns raised about the safety of lives and property.

Addressing newsmen after a meeting with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State at the Government House, Enugu, the Minister of Aviation, stated that he was in the state alongside the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Hamisu Rabiu Yadudu, the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnoli Nnaji and others, to interact with the contractor “to see the level of preparation for the work and review the programme to ensure that he delivers the runway within the time we agreed”.

Reconfirming that the airport will be reopened before Easter, Senator Sirika commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for “the tremendous support, show of concern and participation in what we are doing to deliver this airport”.

According to him, “he (Ugwuanyi) has done everything we have asked the state government to do. We commend him also for those tough decisions that he took in overriding public interest. I think he is bold enough, courageous enough and his show of support and love for his people cannot be quantified”.

Senator Sirika, who disclosed that the Federal Government is committed to ensure that the Enugu Airport “will be the best airport in the country” after the rehabilitation, added that “it will be the most efficient and most modernized airport”.

The minister said that President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to continue to fund the new Enugu International Terminal which is being handled by CCECC, a Chinese company, reiterating his promise to be visiting Enugu regularly to supervise and ensure that the Federal Government delivers on the airport.

Senator Sirika equally appreciated the House Committee chairman on Aviation, Hon. Nnaji, for his diligence, persistence and immense contributions to the project, especially the budgetary allocation.

The minister, who pointed out that the economy of Enugu as well as the state was “very central and pivotal to this part of the country”, maintained that “we take it seriously and we must ensure that it (Enugu) continues to play that central role it is playing”.

His words: “I want to assure Nigerians that this procurement, the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Enugu airport runway and the existing buildings and other associated works will be delivered efficiently in good time, transparently and prudently”.