No going back on Abuja Airport closure – Amaechi


The federal gov­ernment yester­day insisted that it would go ahead to shut down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for six weeks to enable repair works despite outcry from some stakehold­ers.

Minister of Trans­port, Rotimi Amaechi, who spoke at the 2nd Presidential Business Forum at the State House, Abuja, dis­closed that the bad state of the airport runway was already hindering aviation operations.

The Forum was a platform for interaction between the private sector and the govern­ment and the minster was responding to the concerns over the nega­tive impact of the clo­sure of the airport by the President of Manu­facturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Frank Udenba-Jacobs, on be­half of the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

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Amaechi declared that ministers would not allow untoward in­cidents at the airport to make Nigerians de­mand for their resigna­tion, noting that a Luf­thansa aircraft has been grounded for the past three days due to dam­aged gear on landing at the airport.

According to him, the entire runway has col­lapsed, stressing that it is totally unsafe to con­tinue to use the runway and repair work cannot be done at night.

“We are not go­ing back on closure of Abuja Airport. I un­derstand that Lufthan­sa landed and damage their gear and has been here for three days. The runaway was built to last for 20 years but it has been in use now for 34 years.

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“We cannot do it only at night. We don’t want to lose anybody. We are not repairing but rebuilding. If any­thing happens, you will ask us to resign and we don’t want to resign”.

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