Sirika: Enugu Airport is dangerous, unfit for usage - ex-Aviation Minister

Immediate-past Minister of State, for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has warned against the continuous usage of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, over the deplorable state of the runway. Sirika served between November 2016 and May 2019 as Minister in charge of Aviation. He was re-nominated on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari. He was screened today by the Senate. Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, had while speaking on the floor of the Senate, urged Sirika to fix Akanu Ibiam Airport if he’s reassigned to the Aviation sector. Addressing Senate correspondents after his screening, he said the runaway needed immediate attention and should be closed down without delay. He said in his personal capacity, he would advise that the airport should be shutdown without delay. Like other geopolitical zones, he said the South East deserves something better. He said: “If you ask me I will close the Enugu airport today because the runway needs to be fixed. That’s my personal opinion. I am very jealous of that city and the airport.” Speaking on a possible national carrier, Sirika told newsmen that it would be good for the country. He said considering the population of Nigeria, having a national carrier would yield more profits for the country. He said: “I believe having a very vibrant private sector-led national carrier is good for the economy of Nigeria. It is good for the population of Nigeria. It’s good for the centrality of Nigeria. It is good for the wealth and fortune of Nigeria. “One aeroplane in Nigeria is equal to 300 direct jobs to start with. The relationship between GDP and air transportation is direct and we have the biggest GDP in Africa. “By United States estimation, we are a trillion dollar GDP. By official figures of the NBS, we are half a trillion dollar GDP. We might be hitting more than $1.5 trillion GDP. We are 200 million people that will grow to more than 400 million people in 2030.”
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