House of Reps Urges PTF to Reopen Kano Airport, Others

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has been urged to reopen the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

The House of Representatives, which made the appeal at the plenary on Wednesday in Abuja presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Ahmed Idris Wase, argued that the closure of the facility has led to the loss of many jobs.

The lawmakers said since the airport was shut down in March 2020 as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, many passengers who rely on the airport for their international and domestic engagements have been denied access.

The green chamber of the National Assembly said it was “Concerned that Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano has remained closed despite credence to the impact and importance of the Airport to Nigerians, foreigners and the economy as it serves 15 passenger airlines, which include Kabo Airline, Air peace, Aero Contractors, Max Air, etc. being local airlines and Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, etc as International Airlines.”

The lower arm of the parliament further said another disturbing issue is that this same airport “is the hub of Muslim pilgrimages in Northern Nigeria, alongside serving other exigencies like emergency medical evacuations and between 2010 and 2015, had a yearly average of 391,637 passengers flying the route for either business or pleasure.”

It said it was “cognizant of the losses of jobs on account of the continued closure of the airport as well as jeopardising investments in the Information and Communications Technology, facilities and meteorological equipment which the government may not be able to repair immediately, and so susceptible to malfunctioning, contrary to the expectations in an industry that runs on the precision of judgement on anchored working equipment and facilities.”

According to the House of Reps, it was “also concerned that the other two airports that were closed alongside the Airport have resumed operations, hence the continued closure of Mallam Aminu Kano International airport has brought untold hardship in many dimensions from economic to social loss of revenues generated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from the airlines, other persons whose livelihoods are intrinsically linked to the operations of the Airport such as car hire operators, retailers of different products etc.”

It, therefore, urged the PTF to consider reopening the airport alongside “the international wings of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, and the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, for ease of air transportation.”

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