The Federal Government has assured that the second Abuja runway will be ready before May 29th 2023.
The Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika gave the assurance in Abuja during an oversight tour by both Aviation committees of the national assembly and the house committee on FCT to the Nnamdi Azikiwe international Airport.
Sirika added that the availability of funds for the project, as well as its commitment is scheduled for twelve months.
The Minister noted that President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is determined to complete all abandoned projects in the ministry, including the second runway.
“I am glad that we can see some of the projects. The second runway that is ongoing now, completed cargo facilities here in Abuja and the international terminal and car park are some achievements by the ministry”.
“I want to assure the chairman of the Senate committee that, with their support, we are going to tick all the road map items and have a 100 per cent success rate on the road map.”
“Government is committed to this project as well as funding it. With maximum support from the National Assembly in their oversight functions and funding we are more than ready at any time,” the minister said.
Speaking Earlier, the chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Sen. Biodun Olujimi, said she is satisfied and optimistic on the project.
“This is happening in our time. We are improving and getting better and taking aviation as the real growth of transportation and key to whatever, we have to do for the growth of the sector in the country”
“We believe that at the end of it all funding will be available to those projects that you need to deliver and we expect that you deliver them as well as you can.”
Olujimi recalled that at a particular time the airport has to be shut down because “we have only one runway and it was bad. It was the initiative of the minister to ensure that the [construction of the] second runway began”.
She went further to plead for the support to get the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) back on track.
“We found out that NAMA has been pulled away from the budget. We are struggling in both chambers to ensure they are put back in because NAMA is a very important sector in aviation.
“The minister just approved that funding will be constant and it will be delivered as soon as possible, especially before this administration’s time comes to an end. The contract is supposed to be for 12 months and the maintenance will be for another 12 months,”
In the same vein, the chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Sen. Nnaji Nnolim stressed that the construction has been expected to begin for some years. “We have been funding budgets to accommodate the second runway which is very important to this country. [Also because] Abuja, being the capital of Nigeria, is an aggressive infrastructure, agricultural development and economic base, we feel that it is important to add another runway.
“When completed, this runway will be the longest, maybe in West Africa – being 4.2 kilometres against the existing runway which is about 3.7 kilometres. This runway is coming with control power, a taxiway and other facilities.
The chairman, Senate Committee, Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Smart Adeyemi also expressed his satisfaction on the project.
“My involvement here is to look at the length of this road and, possibly, have an idea of the compensation that may [have to be paid out to] the indigenous people of this area. we see how we can make some funding available so that the indigenous [people] will be happy to support this project and there will be no obstructions from the 3 to 5 communities affected by this project.”