By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, has announced that the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport would be officially closed on Tuesday midnight for repairs.
According to Mr Sirika, the Abuja Airport would be shut down for repairs for only six weeks.
But in the alternative, airlines would use the Kaduna Airport, which has worn a new look in preparation for the Abuja Airport closure.
Addressing a world press conference on Monday afternoon on Abuja, the country’s seat of power, the Minister said contractors have been tasked to complete works within six weeks.
“The Abuja Airport closure will be six weeks and only six weeks no more,” Mr Sirika emphasised at the briefing.
Though some foreign airlines have vowed not to use the Kaduna Airport, the Minister said the Federal Government was still in talks with “Turkish and Lufthansa airlines to confirm if they (were still) coming into Kaduna.”
However, he noted that, “Foreign airlines like Ethiopian Airlines have not only indicated interest in using the Kaduna airport, but are also coming with a new plane.”
Allaying the fears being nursed by intending passengers concerning security of lives while travelling from Kaduna to Abuja during the period of closure, the Minister said, “We are having every 2.5 kilometres covered by armed men.”
Corroborating him, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris, stressed that, “We have deployed patrol vehicles along Kaduna-Abuja Express road. We have also deployed helicopters for surveillance to ensure effective security.”
“Due to the emergency of this Abuja Airport closure, we want to assure Nigerians and foreigners of adequate security measures,” he further said.
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