Osinbajo Assures On Kaduna Airport’s Readiness For International Flights
By John Shiklam and Dele Ogbodo
The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo yesterday assured foreign and local airlines of the completion of ongoing work at the Kaduna International Airport before March 8, when the Abuja Airport will be closed to air traffic to allow for its runway rehabilitation.
Fielding questions from Journalists, after an on the spot assessment of the airport in company with the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El Rufai and some international airline operators, Osinbajo, said considerable progress work had been achieved at the Kaduna Airport.
He said: “We have made considerable progress but there’s still a lot to be done and some of it are going to be completed over this weekend, especially the ceiling and air conditioning. So, we think that it will not be in a complete state of readiness by Wednesday but I expect that within a very, very short period, it will be ready.”
He urged the contractors to increase their speed by doubling the number of persons work- ing on the ceilings and other facilities. “They certainly need to work much faster and much more diligently in order to meet the schedule,” Osinbajo added.
While pleading with foreign operators for understanding, the acting president said: “Some of the foreign operators are with us on this inspection today.
“I think that what we need to tell the foreign airlines is that this is an emergency, it is a temporary arrangement and they should really work with us. We are as concerned about safety and comfort as they are and they are here also to see for themselves
“So we will be happy if they work with us. We will be happy if they see this as a temporary arrangement. We are persuading them that this is temporary.”
In a remark, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma, said Kaduna airport now has all the facili- ties needed to operate as an international airport.
He said: “What is important is the facility for landing at the airport and we have just driven round the airport with the Acting President to see their completion.
“We have seen that the runway is good, the Instrument Landing System (ILS) has been installed and the terminal build- ing is hybrid and the contractor has been directed to redouble his effort so that the remaining part should be completed in the next five days.”