Nigerian Presidency assured on Sunday that the reconstruction of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (NAIA) had fully commenced and would be completed within the stipulated deadline of six weeks.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, gave the reassurance on his Facebook page, on Sunday in Abuja.
The presidential aide, who was updating members of the public on the level of work so far at the project site with pictorial reports, said the contractor handling the project had been fully mobilised.
“The contractor handling the project, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc is confident of delivering the runaway for use within six weeks.
“The contractor is fully mobilised at Abuja airport, it will be for six weeks. Please bear with us it’s in the interest of safety.’’
It would be recalled that the Federal Government had on Wednesday closed the NAIA for six weeks to repair its runway and diverted the airport’s operations to the Kaduna airport.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that even the Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who arrived in the country on Friday after his medical vacation in London came through the Kaduna Airport following Wednesday’s closure of NAIA.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, had temporarily moved his office to Kaduna following the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Sirika said the temporary relocation of his office was to help airlines and their passengers to have hitch-free movement for the next six weeks when all Abuja-bound flights would be directed to the Kaduna International Airport.
“This is to ensure smooth operations and achieve intended results,” he said.
NAN gathered that about 4, 300 out of the 8,694 flights to and from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in the next six weeks may have been cancelled following the diversion of flights to the Kaduna International Airport.
Only the Ethiopian Airline out of the eight international airlines plying the Abuja airport agreed to use the Kaduna airport for the next six weeks.