Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said there was no truth in reports that the ongoing reconstruction of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, has been extended from six to 18 weeks.
A statement released by Senior Adviser to the minister, Segun Adeyemi, quoted Mohammed as stating this at a session with the Aviation Round Table (ART) in Lagos on Monday, insisting that the six-week timeline for the reopening of the airport would be adhered to.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to debunk the erroneous report making the rounds that the closure of the Abuja airport has been extended to 18 weeks. This is not true. The six-week timeline for the closure remains. After six weeks, the Abuja airport will be reopened. The remaining work on the runway will not necessitate the closure of the airport,”
According to him, the reconstruction of the Abuja airport runway is nearing its halfway mark, “We are on course to re-open the Abuja airport for flight operations on schedule,” he said, adding government would continue to engage Nigerians, including the critical stakeholders in the Aviation Industry, and give them up-to-date and factual information concerning the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
“What we are doing here today is in continuation of the efforts to carry Nigerians along and to keep them adequately informed about this whole issue of Abuja airport closure and the operations in Kaduna. We are here because we believe that members of the Aviation Round Table are major stakeholders, knowledgeable stakeholders whose opinions are based on empirical evidence rather than sheer emotions,” the Minister said.
He reiterated his earlier statement that the Federal Government has done everything possible to ensure the comfort, safety and security of the travelling public during the six-week closure of the Abuja airport.
He went further to say that transportation from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa is free for air passengers, and that security along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway is such that there is a presence of security agents at short intervals, while the expressway itself has been rehabilitated to ensure a smooth ride.
“I can tell you, having travelled on that road at least thrice since the relocation, that the ride is smooth, plus the safety and security of passengers at the Kaduna airport are paramount and guaranteed, as have been attested to by many,” he said.
Members of the House of Representatives had last week decried operations in Kaduna Airport which has been serving as an alternating for the Abuja Airport. They described the airport as an awaiting disaster.
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