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FG slashes Enugu airport repairs cost by N1.5bn

FG slashes Enugu airport repairs cost by N1.5bn

Front view of the domestic wing of Akanu-Ibiam International Airport Enugu

The House of Representatives on Thursday met with the contractor handling the rehabilitation of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu State, for a timely completion of the project valued at N10bn.

It was disclosed at the meeting that the Federal Government had done a downward review of the contract sum to N8.5bn.

The repairs have been scheduled for completion before Easter celebration in April.

Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Mr Nnoli Nnaji, and other stakeholders at the meeting expressed concerns over the competence of the contractor engaged to rehabilitate the airport in 2010, which collapsed before 2016.

At the meeting, Mr David Emerson, who spoke on behalf of the contractor said the repairs would be accelerated.

Emerson, however, called for the intervention of the committee towards ending the hostility by the host communities where the quarry is located.

He said, “We have visited a lot of quarries producing stones that meet specifications. We are worried about getting the stones within the compressed time as communities are blocking our trucks.”

The Managing Director, FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu, said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), approved N10bn but the actual amount eventually required for the contract was N8.5bn.

He said this left a surplus of N1.5bn in the coffer of the Ministry of Aviation.

On his part, the consultant engaged by the ministry, Mohammed Baba, expressed optimism that Boeing 747-400 series fully loaded should be able to land and take off from at the airport when the upgrading had been completed.

The committee lawmakers, which insisted on timely completion of the project, resolved to embark on oversight visit to the facility within three weeks to ascertain the level of work done so far.

Nnoli, who disclosed that the contract was awarded to PW above other local contractors because of its track record, urged the contractor to synergise with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State towards resolving the problem with the communities.

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