Deadline: Coronavirus derails reopening of Enugu airport

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Delay: Minister explaining the new delay of work at the Enugu Airport
The Minister addressing workers and officials of the construction company at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport over the suspension of work

The ongoing rehabilitation work at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu has been suspended as workers have left the site due to the lockdown occasioned by coronavirus and missed the deadline

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Tuesday, who announced the suspension during an inspection tour of the airport, explained that procurement was suspended because workers had to leave to be with their families.

Accompanied by the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Hamisu Rabiu Yadudu, the minister said that “92-93 per cent of the work at the airport has been completed.”

Bemoaning that work was only 15 days to completion, he said that with the construction workers downing tools due to the prevailing situation, “the Federal Government officially announces the suspension of procurement.”

The minister reassured that the Buhari administration was committed to the rehabilitation of the airport and lamented that the present circumstances regarding the escalating threat of COVID-19 globally, has made it impossible for the Federal Government to meet the deadline.

He disclosed that the Federal Government introduced “glass mesh” on the new runway to strengthen it and help in retaining the structure for a very long time, stressing that hitherto, the new technology was only at the Abuja International Airport.

Part of the rehabilitation include the installation of landing system, taxi and airfield lightings for 24-hour operations at the airport.

Apart from the runway and terminal building, critical equipment such as Instrument Landing Systems, Air Field Lighting, approach lights, taxi lights, aerodrome markings would have been put in place before Easter.

The minister noted that the construction company PW, had been urged to ensure that it delivered quality job on the runway to forestall the collapse of the runway as was the case six years ago.

He commended the Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the other governors of the South East states for their commitment towards the rehabilitation of the airport, as he appealed for understanding on the part of the people of the zone on the delay that has been extended by COVID-19. 

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