Hadi Sirika (2nd L), Rotimi Amaechi (3rd L), Lai Mohammed (M) and IGP Ibrahim Idris (3rd R)
At a world press conference in Abuja on Monday, the Federal Government formally announced the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for 6 weeks for repair works to be carried out on the runway.
The closure will start from 12AM on Wednesday, March 8 2017, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed said at the press conference which had the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Minister of State (Aviation), Hadi Sirika in attendance.
The airport which is the country’s second busiest after the commercial capital Lagos was initially scheduled to close between February and March but was postponed.
Amaechi said the government had kept its promise to make Kaduna Airport ready for alternative use.
Amaechi also addressed the increase in the fares for the railway service from Abuja to Kaduna which went up recently from N600 to N1,050. According to him, government had to take the action to maintain the facility.
He also promised that more coaches will be imported into the country by September to address the overcrowding that is currently being experienced.
Sirika said observations made by acting President Yemi Osinbajo who was in Kaduna Airport on Friday had been taken care of.
So far, only one international airline has agreed to use Kaduna airport, Sirika said adding “We are having every 2.5kil covered by armed men”.
“Foreign airlines like Ethiopian airlines have not only indicated interest in using the kaduna airport but also coming with a new plane. Government is still talking with Turkish and Lufthansa airlines to confirm if they are coming into Kaduna. The Abuja Airport closure will be 6 weeks and only 6 weeks no more,” Sirika said
Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris added that the Force has deployed patrol vehicles along Kaduna-Abuja express road.
“We have also deployed helicopters for surveillance to ensure effective security. Due to the emergency of this Abuja Airport closure, we want to assure Nigerians and foreigners of adequate security measures” he added.