By Ossom Raphael
The rehabilitation of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, has reached 57.5% completion, mid-way into the expiration of six weeks for the project.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, on Thursday revealed this to journalists in Abuja during an inspection tour of the project.
According to the Minister, “work is going on smoothly as you can see. We have taken you round and everything is in order,”
“The contractor has mobilised fully and we have now gone about 57.5% of the total work, which is good, which shows that we are on course, which shows that we are on time, which shows that we are doing what we are supposed to do to ensure that the runway is opened come 19th of April,” he said.
Sent. Sirika who was accompanied by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that in addition to the opening of the runway at the expiration of the six-week target, an upgraded terminal to ensure passenger comfort, in line with the protocol of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), will also be ready.
The Minister, said work on the runway is going on simultaneously with lighting installation and laying of cables, which have also reached an advanced stage.
“This airport will be opened come 19th of April and it will not only be opened at the time but the terminal building will wear a new look. We are doing a complete rehabilitation of Terminal D of the International Airport. We will put escalators and lifts at the terminal and also we are opening a lounge for the physically challenged and the elderly,” he said
He stated that for the first time in Nigeria, glasphalt – a variety of asphalt that uses crushed glass – is being used to reinforce the runway and also prevent cracks.
In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the inspection tour was aimed at providing first-hand experience for the journalists on the progress so far made on the reconstruction of the runway.
According to Las Muhammed “we believe it’s only fitting that we bring you here today, since we have three weeks gone from the six weeks we promised, for you to come and see the extent of work that has been done,”