The Nigerian minister of aviation has announced that the country’s capital airport, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) in Abuja will be closed on 8 March.
Senator Hadi Sirika, the Minister of State for Aviation stated that the closure of the aiport is due to safety and security concerns for the passengers.
Despite protests against the closure of the airport, the Minister maintains that the Federal Government would rather lose billions of dollars in revenue at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja from its closure than lose the lives of Nigerians.
The airport which will be closed between sometime in March is scheduled to have a total runway repair.
According to the Minister, the Federal Government is not ignorant of the inconvenience the scheduled closure of the airport will pose on passengers of the airport, airline operators, as well as other workers. He iterated that safety was the ultimate
He iterated that safety was the ultimate concern, while reminding them that it was to their own benefit if the NAIA is being closed for repairs.
“From start to finish of the runway, it will take six months. However, we will be using the runway throughout the period except for about six weeks when the runway will be closed.
“The government has accepted the design done by the contractor. The runway will last for more than 10 years on completion early next year.”
The Minster also offered the airport in Kaduna state as an alternative to incoming Abuja air travellers. He added that the arrangement which will aid this transition from the Kaduna airport to Abuja has already been finalised. Also, he said the Federal Government will provide buses to convey the passengers to Abuja, while the state government will provide security.
He also stated that a meeting between the government and stakeholders of the Abuja airport will be held.
“The stakeholders forum will afford me the opportunity to officially inform the sector players of the decision and also brief them on efforts being made to ensure that the use of the Kaduna International Airport, as an alternate during the six-week closure of the Abuja Airport, is seamless and hitch-free.”