Ekweremadu: We’re committed to early completion of Enugu Int’l Airport

June 22nd, 2018

By Ignatius Okorocha

The Deputy Presi­dent of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekwer­emadu, has assured that the South East lawmakers and the National Assem­bly remained committed to the early completion of the Akanu Ibiam Interna­tional Airport, Enugu.

“The committees of the National Assembly are usually given a free hand to do their jobs, but they are structured in a way that every geopolitical zone is represented. That way, they can call the attention of the principal officer from their zone when any challenges arise. The Chairman of the House Committee on Works called my at­tention to the challenges in appropriations, award, and funding of major road projects and I made my modest interventions to resolve the issues.

“In this case, the South East occupies the positions of Vice Chairman of the House and Senate Com­mittees on Appropriation and also chairs the House Committee on Aviation. Nobody informed me of any challenges concerning budgetary provisions for the Akanu Ibiam Airport.

“Instructively, the Na­tional Assembly approved exactly the same N2 bil­lion for the same termi­nal building in the 2017 Appropriation Act. So, I believe the relevant com­mittees of the National As­sembly committees are on top of the situation.

He observed that the South East Caucus of the National Assembly was very instrumental to the realisation of an interna­tional airport for the South East, hence, it would be unfair for anyone to play politics with the develop­ments in the 2018 budget by insinuating that he or the South East lawmakers slashed the budgetary pro­vision for the project.

He said: “It is easily re­called that successive mili­tary and civilian govern­ments refused to designate an international airport in the South East, despite endless promises. When I emerged as the Deputy President of the Senate in 2007, and with the support of other South East leaders and people, I led a delega­tion of South East Senators to see the late President Umar Yar’Adua over the matter.

“President Yar’Adua directed the Minister of Transport at the time, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to designate the Akanu Ibi­am Aiport an international facility in November 2007.

“Despite this magna­nimity, the contract for the facility upgrade was not awarded even when all due process procurement activities had been com­pleted with a due process certificate issued on De­cember 1, 2008.

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