Days after the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said the rehabilitation of the runway at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu had begun, the emerging report shows that work is yet to start. The Federal Government is yet to engage any contractor for the work at the airport due to a lack of funding.
Recall that the airport was closed by FAAN on August 24 with the promise that renovation work for the dilapidated runway would begin immediately.
However, it has been more than six weeks now and the renovation isn’t ready to commence. Nairametrics understands that neither the firm that worked on the now dilapidated runway back in 2010 nor Julius Berger, which the governors of the South-East appealed to Federal Government to handle the reconstruction, has been mobilized to the site.
It was gathered that Julius Berger, which the governors wanted to execute the project, could not move for lack of sustainable funding agreement, especially since the work would not require any break when it starts.
Prior to this development, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, had disclosed that the runway repairs and other renovation work would be completed by December. In a meeting with South-East governors, he assured them that the Enugu airport would be reconstructed to meet the Abuja International Airport standard. However, with the look of things, the December deadline may have to be changed.
The airport had been closed to address and resolve the existing safety and security concerns to flight operations as it had a bad runway and landing aids. International flights had been diverted to the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers by Ethiopian Airlines due to the closure of the airport. In the same vein, domestic flights were diverted to the Sam Mbwkwe Airport, Owerri, the Port Harcourt Airport and the Asaba Airport in Delta.