Abuja airport closure: COREN tasks FG on secondary runway construction
The President of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Kashim Ali, has called on the Federal Government to commence plans for the construction of a second runway at the Nmandi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja to avoid the total closure of the airport in the future.
Kashim made the appeal on Wednesday, in Abuja when the Council paid a visit to the Minister of State for Aviation. He supported the closure of Abuja airport for rehabilitation but advised government to commence plans for the construction of a second runway to avoid a recurrence.
The President also advised the Minister on the use of an indigenous consulting firm to supervise the activities of the foreign contractor who is to handle the rehabilitation of the Abuja runway.
He gave an example that, while the Abuja runway was constructed in 1982, the consulting firm that supervised the project was a non-indigenous firm, “there are issues with what is exactly wrong with the runway as most of the people involved in the initial construction are not available or not in the country” the President warned.
Kashim also advised FG that all requirements concerning the rehabilitation of the runway should be meant. “Six weeks can have the job done but if something goes wrong, the time frame maybe overrun and that will dash the hopes of Nigerian” he stated.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika while responding assured COREN that all resources required for the rehabilitation of Abuja runway will be ground before the project will commence.
He assured Nigerians that the Federal Government has put into consideration all issues before choosing Kaduna airport as alternative landing route, adding that adequate security has been put in place to safeguard all passengers in Kaduna and on Abuja –Kaduna highway.
The Minister noted that “the issue is looking more complex than it is because of the sensitivity of the project” he concluded.