FG approves N10bn for Hadejia airstrip, Enugu control tower

cfc sirika
cfc sirika

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved the total sum of N10.08bn for the Ministry of Aviation.

It approved N7.48bn for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Hadejia airstrip, Jigawa State, N1.97bn for the construction of a control tower and technical building at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and the N625.50m for the procurement of utility vehicles for the ministry.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, revealed this to State House correspondents shortly after exiting the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja. At the time of his exit however, the meeting was ongoing.

He said, “So today in Council, we presented one memoranda that contain three items.

“One of which is the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Hadejia airstrip. And the total sum is N7,482,071,196.56 for a period of 18 months. And this contract is going to MESSRS China Civil Engineering Construction Company.

“Then there is the construction of a control tower and technical building in Enugu airport. The company is MSSRS MASCOT Associates Nigeria Limited. And it is N1,973,606,141.75.

“The third contract is for the procurement of utility vehicles. It went to MSSRs Kaura Motors at N625,500,000. These are the memoranda and they’ve all been approved by Council today.”

Meanwhile, the Minister also apologised to air travelers for the industrial action of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, which halted inbound and outbound flight operations on Monday.

Fielding questions from the journalists about Monday’s strike, Sirika said “First, we apologise to our teeming passengers in this difficult moment. There are other ways of channeling issues when they arise but they are not permitted to go on strike because aviation is an essential service.”

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On Monday, local and international flights were disrupted for several hours as workers under the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company declared a warning strike over poor pay.

They requested, among other things, 100 per cent increment in pay following the general upward review of ground handling changes in the sector.

Fielding questions from State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Sirika described the industrial action as “wrong, inhumane and against the law.”

He vowed to enforce the relevant sections of the Civil Aviation Act 2022 to stave off future disruptions.

According to Sirika, the piece of legislation prohibits industrial action and riots of such scale in the aviation sector.

“This is very important to the travelling public. First, we apologise to them; our teeming passengers in this difficult moment.

“Second, this will not happen in the future by the grace of God. And the reason is simple; aviation is an essential service. The Act has been assented to by Mr. President, so strikes and riots around our airports are prohibited by the laws of the land.

“Now that we have the Act in place and assented to by Mr President and passed by the National Assembly, we will deal with it according to the law,” he said.

Describing aviation as an essential service, the Minister argued that the striking workers had other less-disruptive avenues to voice their grievances.

He said “We will ensure no essential service is being disrupted by anybody no matter how aggrieved. There are other channels of channeling issues when they arise but they are not permitted to go on strike because aviation is an essential service and is by the law of the land now.”

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