The House of Representatives has probed the collapse of the runway at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu that warrants its imminent closure for repairs.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has notified airlines, passengers and all other stakeholders that effective August 24, the runway would be closed for major repairs and works on the airfield.
Apparently worried about the effects of the closure, the House Committee Chairman on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, said the House of Reps would want to know why the runway collapsed within six years.
“By my investigation, a standard runway should have a lifespan of 30 years. So, if that runway could collapse under six years some people have to give us explanations.
“The country is going through some difficult times economically and there are so many things contesting for the scarce resources. So, we cannot afford to have huge taxpayers’ money go down the drain just like that,” Nnaji said.
He added that should they discover that the contractor did a shoddy job on the collapsed runway, “he will not go scot-free”.
Nnaji, who represents Nkanu East/Nkanu West Federal Constituency Enugu, regretted that the closure was coming at a time-traveling by road in the southeast zone “has become a nightmare due to the prevailing security challenges.”
He promised that his committee would work with relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that the repair works are completed within the stipulated time.
He subsequently called on the Federal Government to come up with special grants for Enugu State Government to enable it to cope with the increased demand for security and maintenance of roads that will serve the diverted traffic from the Enugu Airport.
Nnaji also appealed to the Ministry of Works to ensure that the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) is adequately mobilised to carry out some urgent repair works on the various access roads between Enugu and alternate airports that would serve Enugu Traffic during the period.