I reported that the FG has stepped down the planned closure of Akanu Ibiam International Airport. As at yesterday, that info was genuine as it came straight from a meeting of some Southeast groups with the Aviation ministry. Unfortunately, after further deliberations today, Airpeace which is the only domestic Airline still using the Airport said it can no longer continue due to the deplorable condition of the Runaway. With Airpeace withdrawal, it became purposeless arguing for the Airport to remain open.
Now, it has fallen on Southeast states govt and Cooperate bodies to emulate the late Sam Onunaka Mbakwe by pulling resources together to take care of the Airport since the Federal Govt which manages and collects tax from all Airports in the country is clearly not ready for the repair. As of today, there is no contract for the repair, no date as to when work will start and certainly no date for the completion and subsequent reopening. And no concrete info as to when the FG will be ready.
Plus, it’s not just the Runway. The Aviation minister is listing series of other things that must be done even after the maintenance before the Airport can be opened again for business.
Meanwhile, the last time Abuja Airport was to be repaired, the FG quickly upgraded the Kaduna Airport where Abuja bound flights were diverted. The govt also awarded the contract and clearly spelt out exactly when work would start at the Abuja Airport and when it would be completed and the Airport re-opened.
Now that it’s the turn of the Southeast, the Aviation ministry is shutting down Akanu Ibiam INDEFINITELY with absolutely no arrangement for the much needed repair.
By Charles Ogbu