The Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Aviation on Thursday expressed worry over the deplorable facilities of some airports in the country and declared the Akanu Ibiam Airport unsafe. Sen. Muhammad Adamu (APC), representing Kebbi Central, expressed displeasure during a tour of facility of the Port Harcourt International Airport. Adamu said that the Senate had between 2015 and 2017 appropriated funds for completion of the remodeling of airports across the country. In a report on the state of the Enugu Airport, Adamu said the situation was worrisome and needed urgent remedial measures to protect the airport users. Discribing the airport as unsafe for airline operations, the lawmaker urged FAAN to summon the contractors to fill the existing potholes on the runway for safety of passengers. “What we saw in Enugu airport was a very serious infrastructure decay, we saw potholes on the runway and this is very unsafe for aircraft to land. “We are surprised that international flights are operating at that airport where there is no running water and the toilets are in bad shapes,’’ he said. Adamu disclosed that some international airlines like the Emirate Airlines had wanted to begin operations in Enugu but couldn’t because after inspection of the facilities, they found there was no water or operational light on the runway. According to him, it was impossible for aircraft to land at night in Enugu airport. The senator also revealed that despite the payment of over 40 per cent of the contract sum for the new terminal that was being funded by a Chinese Bank (Exim bank), the terminal had remained in a state of decay. He said that so far, record had shown that over N9 billion had been spent on the said terminal. He added that as part of their constitutional responsibility on oversight function, the committee had embarked on the tour to ascertain the project so far executed with the appropriated funds. The lawmaker assured that the committee would not hesitate to appropriately bring any organisation found guilty of funds diversion to book. In the same vain, Mr Nkiruka Onyejeocha, (PDP), representing Isuikwato/Umunneochi (Abia State), said that delayed job performance on the ongoing International Wing of the Port Harcourt Airport was equally worrisome. She said that going by the contract schedule, the job would have been delivered in March 2016. On the local wing of the Port Harcourt Airport, she said though the airport was safe for light operations, it was below the standard of an international airport. “It is unfortunate that at this time when other nations are moving forward, Nigeria is rather destroying her national assets.
By Ifeanyi Nwoko The President of the Senate Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has urged all Nigerians to maintain peace and avoid statements or actions that can threaten the peace of the nation. This is even as the leadership of the Senate is set to meet with security chiefs over the tension in the South East as well as the skirmishes in Plateau State. In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki advised Nigerians to remain calm and not do anything that would aggravate the tension in some parts of the country. The Senate’s President who was reacting to the skirmishes in the South East and in Plateau state, said that the crises was not unconnected to the economic challenges of the nation. “The tension in some parts of the country has its roots substantially in the economic situation. “The nation should be assured that some of the legislative and executive actions taken to address the economic problems are beginning to yield fruits. “That is why we recently witnessed the rebound of the economy and the exit of the country from recession.” “I want to appeal to our people to avoid stoking ethnic or religious fires. We should not deepen the fault lines of our nation and place citizens in danger of violence and sustained crises. “The government requires the support of all Nigerians and we should please give peace a chance. No real development or genuine economic activity can take place in the midst of crisis or tension. Investments and development thrive only where there is peace,” he said. Saraki advised Political, Social and Religious leaders to take actions that will douse the tension and reassure the people that the best way is for us to live together in peace, harmony and co-operation. “All leaders at this point must canvass support for government and preach peace, love and harmony. “The Senate leadership will soon meet with security chiefs and we will work for the promotion of dialogue as well as peaceful resolution of all contentious issues. “Once again, I plead with our people to avoid taking laws into their hands or antagonizing our neighbours “, he said.