Enugu state: Senate rejects FG’s move to downgrade international airport
The Senate has asked the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Aviation not to consider downgrading the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu as a matter of urgency.
This was part of the resolutions reached by the lawmakers during plenary on Thursday after Senator Victor Umeh drew the attention of his colleagues to the decision to downgrade the airport.
Rather than going ahead with such a move, the Senate urged the government to rehabilitate the runway of the airport to ensure the safety of passengers and aircraft.
It also advised the government to take steps to complete the new terminal building of the Enugu International Airport and put it to use by local and foreign airlines.
The Senate resolved to urge the Federal Ministry of Aviation and its agencies to develop a water source from the nearby Ekulu River for the use of the airport.
It commended the Enugu State government for swiftly demolishing and ordering the relocation of Orie Emene Market.
The Senate was pleased that the state government speedily shut down the nearby abattoir and ordered the immediate removal of the broadcasting mast and other illegal structures on the approach of the airport
Earlier, Senator Shehu Sani commended was he described as the fast response of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in the last four years.
He, however, noted that the airport was strategic in its location and supported the motion that it should not be downgraded.
While Senator Barnabas Gemade also threw his weight behind the motion, Senator Tayo Alasoadura suggested that a new standard airport should be built, saying Enugu was the centre of the South East region.
Senator Chukwuka Utazi also corroborated the position of his colleague from Ondo State, stressing that urgent steps must be taken to ensure the airport was put in order.
In his remarks, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, thanked his colleagues for their usual patriotism.
According to him, the airport is not just for the people of Enugu and the matter is a universal issue that must be taken seriously.
The Deputy Senate President, This matter has been on for a long time and every day we just keep our fingers crossed and pray nothing bad happens.
I am happy the Senate has brought it up and this should be looked into by the government to repair the Enugu runway.
As it stands now, flights do not land at night in Enugu. The Federal Government needs to look at the landing lights so that lives can be saved, the lawmaker added.