In a bid to address doubts over the duration of the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for repairs, the minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has assured that the Federal Government’s total rehabilitation of the airport runway for smooth operations will not exceed the planned six weeks.
Amaechi who acknowledged the pains the closure of the airport would cause the economy, maintained that his ministry will ensure the reopening after due rehabilitation is concluded in six weeks.
The minister gave the assurance when he appeared alongside his colleague at a town hall meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information in Ilorin, Kwara State on Monday.
According to him, “ We are saying that the Abuja Airport runway was built to last for 20years but we have been using it for 34years. It has become extremely dangerous to continue using it the way it is right now. We need to close it to rebuild it and reconstruct it. The foundation is almost gone and what we are asking for is patience. If we don’t close it we will be exposing lives. One of the constitutional responsibilities of the president is to protect lives and property. So you can’t deny us that responsibility. We believe that if we close it by March, in six weeks’ time we shall be able to reopen it. We know it is challenging for our economy. We think that we will keep to that six weeks,” he said.
While explaining issues concerning Maritime, particularly in the North Central, Amaechi noted that his ministry was determined to commission the Baro River Port by the first quarter of next year.