By Ayoola Olaitan
The federal government will be unable to deliver the Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu earlier scheduled to be concluded this month, due to effects of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the country.
As activities at the airport has been suspended, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika regretfully announced the federal government’s inability to meet the deadline as the reconstruction work has been jettisoned.
While the project has passed over 90 percent of completion, Sirika disclosed the postponement after an inspection tour of the project, yesterday, March 31, 2020.
It should be noted that a lockdown for two weeks has been declared by the Enugu State government which takes effect from today, a decision to curb the spread of the virus reported to have infected two people in the State.
Sirika arrived the airport in company of the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu aboard a police chopper with registration number 5N-LEH explained that the project would have been delivered in six to seven days but that the workers had to leave to be with their families in these trying times.
According to him, “Considering that the construction workers have downed tools owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government, hereby, officially announces suspension of procurement. The work would have been completed in six to seven days, but the workers left to be with their families in view of the social distancing. ”
Meanwhile, Sirika appealed for understanding on the part of the South-Eastern people and also expressed the hope that the issues would be resolved in two to three weeks.