Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sitrika yesterday hinted that the 4.2km second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja, will be ready for inauguration in May 2023.
Sirika noted that with increased funding, the project will be ready before the expiry of the current administration.
The minister, who disclosed this during an inspection tour of the Abuja airport by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Aviation, maintained that the federal government is committed in delivering on the project through the provision of the needed funding.
While taking the legislators on a tour of the ongoing projects at the airport including the cargo terminal and the car park station which is about 90 and 95 percent completed respectively, Sirika reiterated his commitment to ensuring that all the line items mentioned in the aviation roadmap are delivered before living office.
He, however, commended the National Assembly for supporting the ministry to overcome some of the challenges that bedeviled the aviation industry in the last seven years.
He added that the second runway project is just about per cent completed the fact that the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) were recently mobilised to site will hasten its completion.
Similarly, the Senate Committee Chairman on Aviation, Senator Olujimi, while speaking, noted that the completion of a new runway for Abuja airport has being long overdue and recalled that the airport was shut down in 2017 to carry out a major repairs on the runway.
He pointed out that although the contract was supposed to be for 12 months, however, following assurance by the minister to ensure the funding is constant, they believe the project will be delivered soon.
The House Committee Chairman on Aviation Hon. Nnolim Nnaji, also in his remarks, mentioned that when completed the 4.2km runway will be the longest one in West Africa as against the existing runway of about that 3.7km.
He disclosed that the runway will have a control tower, taxiway among other facilities adding that under the second phase of the project another terminal building will be put in place.
The representative of CCECC, Yaug Yuongtan, disclosed that their mobilization to site was delayed due to the need to pay compensation to the original inhabitants of the land, however they are committed to delivering the project with intensive funding.