The rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu State, has been rescheduled to start in December 2019 as the new completion date is April 2020. This was disclosed by the Aviation Minister Senator Hadi Sirika while defending the budget of his ministry before House of Representatives Committee on Aviation.
Recall that Sirika tabled a request of N10 billion before President Muhammadu Buhari for the repairs of the airport. The money got approved and he promised that the airport would be delivered before Christmas.
The Details: However, the Minister has pleaded for more time. According to him, though the money requested was approved, the ministry was still awaiting actual disbursement to do the work.
He also assured the lawmakers that the work would be delivered once and for all, adding that the new timeline is realistic.
Sirika went ahead to give a report on the ministry’s budget. He said, “In the year 2020, the sum of N41,878,371,737 is being proposed for capital expenditure.
“The budget will focus on sustaining the infrastructural renewal at the airports as well as upgrade and provision of necessary air navigation equipment as well as weather forecast. Special attention would be given to safety and security infrastructure.
“There are challenges with the new terminal buildings being built with the N500 million loan from Exim Bank of China. These challenges include but are not limited to changes in the structural designs of the airports, foundation footing and escalators, provision for modern aircraft such as A380.”
According to him, other challenges experienced by the ministry involve change in departure and arrival flow to rhyme with the railway station in Abuja; provision of adequate power supply to ensure all facilities were put to maximum use; relocation of the control tower and the fire station, and issues relating to sewer and water supply for the airports.
“The above has resulted on the need for variation and additional work to the tune of $461,795,551 which has been approved by the Federal Executive Council,” the minister said.