- Osinbajo Inspects Abuja Airport, Says Runway 80% Complete
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday embarked on a thorough inspection of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, which lasted for over one hour.
Osinbajo inspected the runway and taxiways of the airport, its arrival and departure terminal buildings, as well as the fire station.
He was taken round the facility by the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, and other officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
Osinbajo told journalists that the runway was 80 per cent complete, adding that the airport would be reopened on the scheduled date.
The Abuja airport was shut down to flight operations on March 8 this year and is scheduled to be reopened on April 19.
According to the Federal Government, the closure of the airport for six weeks is to allow Julius Berger Plc to carry out a total rehabilitation of its runway and taxiways.
Workers of the construction firm were seen on site during the inspection of the facility by the Vice President.
However, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; and the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, were not present during the inspection by Osinbajo on Friday
While addressing reporters after touring the facilities, Osinbajo said, “I have looked round and from what I have seen and also from the information from the contractors and consultants, it looks as if things are going very well. We are told that we are now nearing 80 per cent completion and that we are clearly on schedule.
“So, we expect to see that this will be completed well on schedule and I don’t think we should expect any delay whatsoever, because we have assurances from the consultants and contractors that we are clearly on schedule. So, by the 19th of April, this runway should be set.
“I have no reservations and looking at all of this myself and inspecting it and listening to the contractors, consultants and personnel of FAAN and the Ministry of Transportation, I think a lot of work has gone in here for the contractors do 24 hours shift, working round the clock and they have taken the job very seriously.”
Dunoma told journalists that other facilities at the airport were at various stages of completion, adding that the terminal buildings at the NAIA were also being rehabilitated.
The FAAN boss stated, “The total overall completion of the work is 80 per cent as of today. The other critical elements of the work that we have include asphalt laying, which is about 73 per cent, and air field lighting re-installation is about 40 per cent.
“The next critical item is marking, which will start on Monday, but it is not a critical element per say and, of course, general cleaning because at the end of the day, our regulator will have to come and certify what we have done and then we will be ready for opening on the 19th.
“We are seizing this opportunity of empty building to make sure that we rehabilitate the entire terminal buildings and that include all the facilities that are there, mechanical, electrical and civil.”
When asked if the terminals would be ready by April 19 when the airport would be reopened for flight services, he replied, “That’s the plan. All the works that are going on there will be completed by the 19th.”