NIGERIA’S Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has acknowledged steps taken by the Enugu State government to improve safety at the Akanu Ibiam international Airport ( Enugu).
Enugu State government swung into action by ensuring the relocation of a major market located at the tip of the runway which was creating incursion as a response to the Federal Government’s earlier threat to totally shut Enugu Airport for total rehabilitation for the incursion to be tackled.
Reacting to the Enugu State government!s swift response, the minister declared: “We are happy to see that the Enugu state government has seen reason with the Ministry to address safety concerns raised. We are appreciative that in the name of safety, Enugu State Executive Council approved the immediate closure of Orie Emene Market (abattoir inclusive) to forestall any tragedy at the Airport. We are also happy that the Council also ordered immediate removal of all illegal structures encroaching on the land of the Airport, radio mast of the state broadcasting service, and Free Trade Zone.
“We, however, would be extremely comfortable if compliance with the above directives from the state government are carried out as soon as possible to give us necessary allowance to carry out repairs as well as expansion and extension of the Runway. All these will better the lot of the Enugu Airport and improve safety a hundred fold.
Following safety concerns raised by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on potential air hazards in and around the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, the Enugu State Executive Council in response had ordered the immediate closure of Orie Emene Market near the airport.
Briefing journalists after the council’s meeting, the State Commissioner for Information, Ogbuagu Anikwe, disclosed that the council also closed the abattoir near the airport and equally ordered the immediate removal of all illegal structures encroaching on the land of the airport.
“The Chairman of Enugu East Local Government Area has been directed to effect the immediate closure of the market. The State Executive Council had on 12th October, 2018 approved funds for relocation of the State Broadcast Mast on the approach of the runway to Okpatu Hill (Ugwu Rerenkwu) in Udi Local Government Area but the implementation of this project has been hampered by the disruptive activities of some youths in the community.”