SE Governors task Federal Government over Akanu Ibiam Airport

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By KODILINYE Obiagwu

THE governors of the South East states are angry about the prevailing condition of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
The governors, who recently accused the Federal Government of poor diligence in the execution of its 2017 budget in the South East, particularly with capital projects, described as unacceptable the situation of things at the international airport.
At the end of its meeting at the Government House, Enugu, Sunday, the governors wondered why the Akanu Ibiam airport should still be categorised as an international airport when flights could not land after 6.30 pm.
The Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi said, “It’s not acceptable to us.”
The Forum demanded an urgent intervention by the Minister of State for Aviation. Acknowledging previous interventions by the Federal Government, the Forum pointed out that more work need to be done especially on the “deplorable state of the runway, the runway lights and the tarmac.”
Umahi, also requested that urgent steps be taken to reactivate the cargo section of the Akanu Ibiam Airport.
In a four point communique, read by Umahi, the governors stated: “Our demand is that the Aviation Minister should come with experts to look at the tarmac. Some of you might have travelled through the airport and while landing, you might have observed the difficulties faced by pilots. It’s not safe for our people at all. We frown at that and ask the minister to carry out an on the spot assessment as a matter of urgency.
“There is a recently installed runway light but it is as good, because it is not bright at all. Thunderstorm or very strong winds destroyed the roof of a building in front of the airport. It’s not a good sight to behold and we believe it wont cost the Federal Government more than N15million to fix.
“The Minister of State for Aviation should for the sake of the lives of people of the zone, and of course, other Nigerians visit and intervene immediately by directing the contractors to do the right thing.”
Meanwhile, Umahi acknowledged the interim report from the South East Consultative Committee on Health. The committee was newly inaugurated to facilitate the establishment of world class health facilities in each state of the zone.
According to Umahi, the Forum “noted the caliber of health and other professionals in the Committee and commended them for the progress so far and urged them to work towards ensuring the transformation of the zone into a medical tourist destination in Nigeria.”

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