The members of the National Assembly’s joint committee on aviation on Thursday expressed worry over the deplorable state of some airports in Nigeria, particularly the Enugu and Port Harcourt International airports.
Muhammad Adamu, APC-Kebbi Central, explained how unhappy he was after a tour of the facility of the Port Harcourt International Airport despite the fact that the Senate had between 2015 and 2017 appropriated funds for completion and remodelling of airports across the country.
On the state of the Enugu Airport, Mr. Adamu said the situation was worrisome and needed urgent remedial measures to protect the airport users adding that the Akanu Ibiam Airport was unsafe for airline operators. He urged the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN to summon the contractors to fill the existing potholes on the runway for the safety of passengers.
“What we saw in Enugu airport was a very serious infrastructure decay, we saw potholes on the runway and these are very unsafe for aircrafts to land. We are surprised that international flights are operating at that airport where there is no running water and the toilets are in bad shape’’, he said.
Mr. Adamu explained how some international airlines like the Emirate Airline had wanted to begin operations in Enugu but couldn’t because, after inspection of the facilities, they found there was no water or operational light on the runway adding that it was impossible for aircrafts to land at night in Enugu airport.
He said that despite the payment of over 40 per cent of the contract sum for a new terminal at the airport that was being funded by a Chinese Bank, the terminal had remained in a state of decay and that so far, the record had shown that over N9 billion had been spent on the said terminal.
The lawmaker further disclosed that the committee had embarked on the tour to ascertain the projects so far executed with the appropriated funds as part of their constitutional responsibility. He assured Nigerians that the committee would not hesitate to appropriately bring any organisation found guilty of funds’ diversion to book.
Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, PDP-Abia, said that the delayed project at the International Wing of the Port Harcourt Airport was worrisome as it should have been completed in March 2016.
The lawmaker said though the local wing of the Port Harcourt airport was safe for light operations, it was below the standard of an international airport.
“It is unfortunate that at this time when other nations are moving forward, Nigeria is rather destroying her national assets”, she said.