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Senate summons ministers, other stakeholders over Abuja Airport closure

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja on 11/01/2017

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•Senator Hope Uzodinma.
•Senator Hope Uzodinma.

The Senate has resolved to invite the Ministers of Transportation, State Aviation, Works, Power & Housing, Federal Capital Territory FCT, Chief of Air staff, Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, to provide details on the planned closure of Abuja Airport, slated for March 8.

The Upper Chamber called the relevant stakeholders to explore other options that can avoid a total closure of the Airport for Six weeks to carry out repairs.

The Ministers, according to the Senate, “should be invited to meet with the Senate in few days.”

The Planned Closure of the Abuja Airport which was sponsored by Senator Hope Uzodinma during plenary on Tuesday.

However, the Upper Chamber is worried that a six weeks outright closure of a major and the only airport in the FCT can trigger untold hardships on air travelers.

It therefore said it is determined to explore all other possible options that can avert the planned total closure of a strategic National port for six weeks.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who seconded the motion admitted that “there is need to repair the runway but I don’t agree with closure of the Airport,” adding that “many countries have repaired Airports without closure and many lives have been lost on Kaduna road.”

In his contribution, the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn N’Allah remarked that “I am disappointed with the approval of the closure. We should make necessary consultations and find alternative solutions to it.”

Senator Barnabas Gemade representing Benue Central maintained in his contribution that “I will suggest that we should take the shutdown in piece meal, we can do repairs 36 hours in a week or on Saturdays.”

Senator Dino Melaye who represents Kogi West, admitted that “such action will embarrass us as a country. It will also affect us economically, politically and socially. Our Aviation intellectuals must think.”

Senator Shehu Sanni from Kaduna, in his own comment, added that “the elites are running away from the problems they created. They have created hell and want to live in paradise. If the road is bad they do not want to go there.”

Source News Express

Posted 11/01/2017 12:29:29 AM

 

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