By Adedayo Akinwale
The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to direct the National Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to grant operational rights to the Bayelsa airport.
The resolution of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance moved by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndufi Elumelu.
The House also mandated its Committee on Aviation to follow up, ensure compliant and report back to the House within four weeks.
Elumelu said that in February 2019, the Bayelsa State government completed the construction of its international airport, which has a runway of 3.7km, one of the longest in the country, and has a capacity of providing about 2,000 formal and informal jobs for the indigenes of the state.
He noted that the airport was constructed with a whopping sum of N60 billion of tax payers money and it has some of the best and latest equipment in the aviation industry.
The minority leader noted that from February 2019 when the airport was completed till date, NCAA has refused to grant the airport operational rights and permit for a smooth take off, thereby causing the indigenes untold hardships and massive revenue loss to the state.
He lamented that the continuous denial of a permit for a smooth takeoff has stalled the rapid development which the airport was meant to bring and also depriving about 2,000 indigenes of the state employment opportunities.
Elumelu stressed that to travel to and from Bayelsa, you have to either go to Omaha in Rivers State or Sam Mbakwe airport in Imo State, which could take nearly two hours when the road is in good condition, describing it as unnecessary, waste of time and scarce resources since Bayelsa airport has been completed.
The House therefore urged the “federal government to direct NCAA and FAAN to immediately grant Bayelsa airport the operational right”.