The Nigerian Senate has summoned Minister for Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi over the imminent closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika had, on 20 December, 2016, disclosed that the airport will be closed for total repairs on the runway.
According to Mr. Sirika, the airport will be shut down for six weeks.
Sirika had told newsmen that the closure was to allow Julius Berger carry out total re-construction on the badly damaged airport runway.
He said that while the runway would still be put to use under the six months of rehabilitation, the six weeks would allow the mid-section of the runway to be reconstructed.
Meanwhile, the federal government has ordered the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to relocate the mobile tower at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja to Kaduna International Airport.
The Kaduna Airport will come handy while the six weeks closure lasts.
Sirika during an on-the-spot assessment of the facilities at the Kaduna airport was impressed by the facility already on ground at the airport including the seamless runway and taxi way.
He said that the Abuja Mobil tower would serve as a backup in Kaduna airport.
The Minister said: “We will make use of the Fire Service watch tower and if there is an event of failure, we will have a backup of mobile tower that will be moved from Abuja airport to Kaduna airport as backup equipment.”
Addressing the Chief Executive of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, asked Managing Director of FAAN to make arrangement to relocate the Abuja mobile tower to Kaduna.”
Works has begun in earnest on Saturday, January 6 on the repairs of road from Abuja to Kaduna and the final completion of Kaduna terminal building before March 8, 2017.
The Minister who was not disappointed by what he met on ground, said:
“I am impressed at the state of facility here in Kaduna. The runway is in good condition with all the lightings in place.”
Transportation Minister, Mr. Amaechi is expected to appear before the Senate to justify the decision to close the airport, albeit temporarily.