Abuja airport now to be shut March 8

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Nigeria’s Federal Capital, Abuja, will now be closed on March 8.

The move will enable the government repair its runway, the aviation ministry said on Tuesday, pushing the move back later than previously scheduled.

The decision to shut the airport and divert Abuja-bound flights to Kaduna, an airport used primarily for domestic flights about 160 km (100 miles) to the north, was taken after airlines threatened to stop flying to the capital.

The government had said the six weeks closure would begin in February. But a statement issued on Tuesday, which said the aviation minister would discuss the matter with stakeholders, said the “proposed closure” was set to start on March 8.

No reason was given for the change of date.

The meeting with aviation industry figures, on Thursday, is to brief them on efforts being made to ensure that the use of Kaduna’s airport is “seamless and hitch-free,” said aviation ministry spokesman James Odaudu.

Analysts have said that the temporary closure of Abuja airport, the country’s second busiest after the commercial capital Lagos, will have a negative impact on Africa’s biggest economy, which fell into recession in 2016 for the first time in 25 years.

Passengers travelling to Abuja will have to fly to Kaduna and travel in bus shuttles, guarded by security provided by the government, to the capital on a pot-holed road where kidnappings have taken place in the last few years.

Kaduna’s international airport handled 12 flights in December 2015, the last month for which Nigeria’s airports authority has figures, compared with 812 that used Abuja International.

The government has said German company, Julius Berger, will carry out repairs on Abuja’s damaged runway.


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  • Na So O!

    “In the President, in whom much hope was invested and misery
    was reaped, the man died. In the President, who made promises of alleviating
    poverty during campaign but rather exacerbates the level of hunger in the land,
    the man died. In the President who promised to declare his assets but goes to
    odious lengths to explain why he could not do it any longer, the man died. In
    the President who promised to reduce the cost of petrol but ended up increasing
    it astronomically, the man died. In the President who promised to increase the
    value of our Naira but rather devalued it beyond recognition, the man died”.

    ………………..Remi Oyeyemi

    (January 3rd, 2017)

    • Bisi2000

      I JUST WISH THAT PRESIDENT MUHAMADU BUHARI CAN DO ONLY ONE THING CORRECTLY
      AND SAVE US A DISGRACE OF VOTING FOR THE WORST PRESIDENT NIGERIA’s EVER HAD.

      • TRUSTIN BRIGHT

        It is not the fault of Buhari that Goodluck Jonathan failed to provide Abuja Airport with a second runway. Please always crosscheck on issues!

        • share Idea

          Abuja came into existence under GEJ’s rule. What a pathetic hypocrite you are?

          • paul irumundomon

            Jonathan should have fixed all the pit toilets in the country, Nigerians would have still blamed him because it is jonathan that stopped the rain and brought hunger to nigerians.

    • TRUSTIN BRIGHT

      Is it the fault of Buhari that Goodluck Jonathan could not construct a second runway in Abuja? What has Buhari to do with the failure of that man? Why not carry out a research on issues before reacting??

      • Shehu Monguno

        If GEJ failed to construct a 2nd runway, why did President Buhari not construct a 2nd run way in the last 18months. GEJ is gone and Buhari is in control, govern and stop pulling us back

    • Baba B

      Remi Oyeyemi indeed died because he is inpatient and has refused to see beyond his nose. He indeed died because he has refused to see the issues confronting this government holistically. He indeed died because he is probably one of those Nigerians who benefited from corruption and thus not happy with the way things are currently. He indeed died because he is practicing lazy journalism that thrives on just writing for the sake of writing rather than researching and writing with facts. He indeed died and may never wake up again because he is rather seeing the glass half empty instead of seeing it half full.

      • Ndidi

        Abuja airport to close for 6 weeks starting March 8th 2017 so by my calculation ends on April 19th. Terrible timing though – Easter Sunday is on April 16.

        • Chidinma

          It is from FEBRUARY to MARCH 8! can you read????