Abuja – Kaduna air travel diversion to cost N600m

Nigeria suffers first loss over planned closure of Abuja Airport

The Federal Government is to spend about N600 million on security provision for Abuja-Kaduna air travel arrangements.

The bulk of the expenditure is to go for air surveillance and other monitoring activities that the police and the military will put in place for the six weeks the closure of Abuja Airport will last, a source in the Presidency told Ripples Nigeria.

But while inaugurating the security for the movement of passengers to and from Abuja and Kaduna, Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, remained silent on the total cost of the security provision for the air travelers, estimated to have jumped from 1,500 to 2,000 passengers since 2015.

It was learnt that the cargo movement on the same route, which will be specially guarded from attacks by organised robbers will be given equal security treatment as will be for passangers.

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However the Minister put it this way : “It is our resolve to strengthen safety and security of our airspace and of course, this is a primary function of a government. Safeguarding lives and property of our citizens is a constitutional responsibility of the government of which we have not been found wanting.

“The major functions of this important committee as it were are to provide security at the Abuja and Kaduna airports, including air and rail transportation and of course, on the road.

“It is to also monitor traffic movement from Abuja to Kaduna airport and vice visa, inclusive of the road that links the two junctions in Kaduna up to the airport, that is, Nnamdi Azikiwe Road known as the Western bypass in Kaduna locally and the Mando road as well. Your task is to be proactive and deal with any security challenge.“

The committee is to be chaired by Mr Alkali Usman, Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Federal Operations, while Mr Talba Alkali, Director Technical and Safety, Ministry of Transportation serves as the secretary.

Other members are the Office of the National Security Adviser, NSA; Office of the Minister of State, Aviation; Department of State Security Services, DSS; Nigerian Air Force; Nigerian Army; Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp, NSCDC and other security operatives.

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