The Minister of state for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika hsa said that the government will proceed with the closure, repairs and the use of Kaduna airport as an alternative to Abuja airport for six weeks.
The minister said this when the leadership of the Council for Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) Paid him a visit at the ministry of Transportation.
‘’Having this stamp from COREN, the National Assembly and the ministry agree that it is the best option; we are proceeding with the procurement, i can emphatically tell you that this procurement is proceeding. We will wait on the due date of March 8 to close down the runway’’.
Continuing, Sirika appealed to passengers and Nigerians to see the discomfort of the closure for six weeks as a sacrifice for the nation. ‘’We appeal to Nigerians and other passengers for understanding as the repairs is for the betterment of the country’’;
Enjoining the stakeholders to consider that Nigeria is in a moment of need and that it is not time for profiteering, but a time for sacrifices, the minister said, ‘’i want every firm, company, stakeholder to consider that Nigeria is in a moment of need, so it is not a time of profiteering, but a time of sacrifices. This is the time to stand for Nigeria’’
Sirika added that an interactive website will be opened and dedicated to disseminating information on the airport closure for the period it will last.
The president, Council for Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN), Engr. Kashim Abdul Ali who led the delegation of the leadership of COREN, while speaking earlier said they were in support of the government decision to close the airport for comprehensive repairs, as it has long be overdue.
The president however, added that there would be need for the government to engage the services of indigenous consultants who are experts in the field of engineering to be part of the project. He also advised that the closure should not be more than the stipulated six weeks and there should be monitors to monitor the whole process, both in Abuja and Kaduna.
The minister however doused the fear by saying that adequate preparation has been made, professionals have been hired as consultants and asll other things have been put in place to make the project succeed.
He invited the body (COREN) to join in the monitoring team which include the senate committee on aviation, house committee on aviation, the ministry and other relevant agencies.
Iyogun Asobumeh Sunday
Assistant Chief Informatio Officer
For: DD (Press and Public Affairs) Aviation