The federal government has assured Nigerians expressing some pessimistic views regarding the proposed closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja that there will be no extension beyond the Six-Week period for its reopening.
Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika gave the assurance when members of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups visited him to register their support for the decision.
According to the Minister, rather than an extension, he was optimistic that the usability of the runway could be restored even before the expiration of the period.
According to a statement made available by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs of the Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, the Minister said “we will close it and we will be working day and night to ensure that we deliver the project and it will be six weeks and six weeks no more. It could even be less” he said.
He told the group that the airport runway has totally failed and was like a disaster waiting to happen, which was why government took the decision in order to ensure safety and avoid disaster in the sector, adding that closure of the airport for six weeks remained the only viable option.
The minister said that many critical stakeholders in the industry including Council for the Regulation of Engineering (COREN) and those versed in aerodrome engineering had agreed with the decision of the government in order to avert possible disasters.
However, some other stakeholders in the industry have stoutly criticised the decision of the government to close the airport.