*Assures nation that airport will open on 19th April
Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has undertaken a first hand assessment of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, runway which he was told had reached 80 per cent completion stage.
Receiving the VeePee, Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma, said, the project will be ready as scheduled.
Conducting the vice president, Yemi Osibanjo, round the project on Friday, he said “the critical parts of the work, including asphalt-laying, airfield lighting installation and marking of the runway, were progressing.
He said so far laying of glass grid had been 100% completed, while asphalting was at 73% and installation of lights at 40% completion.
The FAAN boss added that the marking of the runway would commence on Monday.
According to him, the project is being executed in line with the programme of work and the 19th April deadline will be met.
“The overall completion is 80 per cent as of today and the critical elements of the work that we have which are asphalt-laying and airfield lighting installation are 73% and 40%, respectively, completed.
“The next critical part, of course, is marking which will start on Monday. At the end of the day, the regulator will have to come and certify it; then, we will be ready for re-opening on the 19th April,” he said.
Mr Dunoma said the agency was taking advantage of the six-week closure of the airport to also carry out complete rehabilitation of the terminal to give it a new look when it re-opened.
He said the work included installation of all the essential facilities such as electrical and mechanical fittings.
“We are seizing this opportunity of empty building to make sure that we rehabilitate the entire terminal building and that includes the facilities that are there such as mechanical, electrical and civil. We will get it done before the 19th and all the works there will be completed before that day.
“19th April remains sacrosanct. We want to reassure Nigerians that come 19th April, the airport will be opened,” he said.
In his remarks, Prof Osibanjo expressed satisfaction with the level of work and assured that with what he has been briefed that the airport would be re-opened on schedule.
The airport was shut on 8th March for six weeks to enable Julius Berger carry out complete rehabilitation of the 3.6 kilometres runway. The runway, which was constructed in 1982 was meant to last for 20 years, but has been in use for 35 years without major repair and proper maintenance.