By Ifeoma Aka
The Enugu State House of Assembly has expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done so far at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport runway in the state.
Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Works, Mr Chima Obieze made the commendation in Enugu on Monday when the Assembly Committee on Works supervised the extent of work done at the Airport.
The lawmaker charged the contractor handling the project to speed up the project to meet the April deadline for completion.
Obieze said that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had assured them that the airport would be opened before the Easter celebration in April.
He however, expressed worry over the slow pace of work at the site.
He said that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state dropped drastically because of the closure, noting that businessmen and women had also suffered untold hardship as a result of the closure.
“Many people did not travel home during the yuletide because of the closure and it contributed to the already existing hardship in the state,’’ he said.
In his contribution, the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Uche Ugwu said the committee came to get firsthand information and know the extent of work done at the airport.
Ugwu urged the contractor to do everything within its power to ensure completion of the project as scheduled.
In her remarks, the Airport Manager, Mrs. Cecilia Oguama assured the lawmakers that rehabilitation on the runway must be completed in April as promised earlier.
“Even if other projects were not completed, the runway must be completed. The ministry of aviation is very passionate about the ongoing projects at the airport.
“I know how much FAAN generates everyday at the airport; we have been losing a lot since the closure.
“I want to assure you that we will deliver the project by first week of April. This is an opportunity for people of the South East to ensure that the airport is perfectly in order,’’ she said.
The member representing Enugu East Rural Constituency, Mr Hillary Ugwu whom the airport is under his constituency, debunked the allegation that the host community was demanding money from the contractor handling the project.
“My constituents have never done a thing like that and would never do such a thing; rather they see it as a prayer answered because they have been yearning for it.
“They are ready to give every necessary support to ensure successful completion of the project,’’ he said.
Reacting, the Acting Project Manager, Mr Jerry Canty, said on completion, the runway would be one of the best runways in the world and promised to fast track the work to meet with the deadline. (NAN)