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FG re-opens earlier before schedule




Aminat Isah Abuja

The federal government has re-opened the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport a day ahead if its 19th April scheduled reopening day.

The Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, reopened the  Airport, Abuja, after a successful completion of its runway rehabilitation which took exactly a day less than the six weeks it was scheduled for.

The Minister while addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, noted that the decision to reopen the airports on Tuesday since was solely because  the runway rehabilitation had been completed on schedule and there was no need delaying its reopening.

“even though the reopening date was supposed to be Wednesday, it was not bad to reopen a day earlier.” He said.

He commended Nigerians and air travelers for their resilience during the six weeks closure of the airport.

“April  19 was the due date for us to conclude and open the airport based on our programme of work but that not to say, we cannot open earlier.

“We are able to deliver the project earlier than anticipated, so we can open it. It is natural that we open it a day earlier.

“Here we are today, we set out to achieve that target and we achieved it.

“We thank Allah for his guidance and we are happy and thank his Excellency for his support.
” I also wish to thank all my colleagues who did it all and the media and the Nigerian people for standing by us,” he said.

He commended Ethiopian airline Bale mountain – ET- ATR A350 which was the first Airline use  newly rehabilitated runway by landing at about 12:07pm.

Passengers at the airport said they were surprised that the airport could be opened as promised.

The Hungarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Prof Gabor Ternak who was at the airport at the re-opening said the example set by the Nigerian government was a record breaking to other countries.

“It was a surprise that the Abuja airport would be re-opened on the schedule much less, a day earlier. I was really surprised
“I did not anticipate that the airport would be ready tomorrow how much more a day earlier. This s really a change government and it speaks volume of the country to other countries of the world”he added.

Another passenger who  was aboard the Ethiopian aircraft, Dr Gabor Baranyi said passengers were told while boarding that they would land in Kaduna but at the last minute, announced that the aircraft was to land in Abuja.

“It was a smooth journey and landing in Abuja. I must say l did expect to land in Abuja but it was really good to land in Abuja again after six weeks”, he said.

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