Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, on Tuesday, disclosed that the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja would be ready in a year’s time.
The Minister who revealed this during an inspection of airport facilities, said the government had resolved the lingering issues on community compensation that had delayed the project’s start.
On the second runway, I have to go and meet the FCT Minister to clear the obstacle on the way. As of today, the report I have is that the communities have started receiving the money we disbursed.
“The Chinese company handling the project said it would clear the place next week and move to the site. So, we are going to invite Mr. President to come and commission it.
“For Abuja, as a capital city, it is extremely important that I work with relevant agencies, and the National Assembly to make sure we deliver the project within 12 months.”
According to him, the controversies from the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo had delayed the project.
He said the government would also intensify efforts at improving the chillers, lifts, and escalators at the nation’s airports.
“Both locally and internationally, what passengers what to see are three things – good chillers; they want to come into a conducive atmosphere. They also want to see that the lifts are working. The third is the effective escalators.
“These are the problems our airports are facing. Even this new facility, I understand, only four of the chillers are working.
“I have told them that my mentality to some of those things is that, for example, most of the chillers that are obsolete, instead of fixing them repeatedly, we will buy new ones.
“Cost of fixing them like three times can buy a new one. There are good brands all over the world. Let us buy high-quality lifts. The ones I saw here are not good enough,” Keyamo maintained.