Leading Igbo Think Tank, Nzuko Umunna has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika and the Governors of the South East for the successful reopening of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport on Sunday 30 August 2020. The Federal Government shut the airport for one year over safety concerns and to enable repairs and extension of the runway.
Nzuko Umunna in a statement praised the collaborating entities for the quality of work at the airport saying experts had judged it as meeting international standards. The statement added, “We also note the construction of facilities which had hitherto been lacking at the airport facility such as perimeter fencing and airfield lighting for day and night operations. These facilities are bound to improve safety and security at the airport.”
Nzuko Umunna was grateful to President Buhari for the release of N10billion that enabled the repairs, Senator Hadi Sirika for his commitment to the work at Akanu Ibiam Airport and to the heads of aviation agencies who played various roles.
They named, in particular, the Managing Director & Chief Executive of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu “for his hands-on oversight of the day-to-day construction” as well as his counterpart at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu “or ensuring the seamless installation of brand new instrument landing systems at the airport”.
Nzuko Umunna also named Hon Nnolim Nnaji. Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, for going “beyond the call of duty in ensuring the timely completion of the project”. They singled out for commendation the Minister of Labour Senator Chris Ngige and Science and Technology Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
Nzuko Umunna added, “There is no gainsaying that the South-East Governors under the aegis of the South-East Governors Forum (SEGF) – ably led by Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi – played a pivotal role in making the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort a reality. Also worthy of special mention is Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, whose uncommon commitment to the project was in bold relief.”
Nzuko Umunna played an active role in the efforts among groups in the South East to ensure the reactivation of the Enugu Airport. It noted, “Not only was our “Nzuko Umunna Enugu Airport Intervention Committee” embraced by the South-East Governors Forum in driving the project, the Forum graciously appointed our highly respected Chairman of our committee, Engr. Chris Okoye as Chairman of the “South-East Governors Forum Akanu Ibiam International Airport Rehabilitation/Palliative Committee.”