…agrees with FAAN, others on citing Free Trade Zone near airport
Posted by Sade Williams
Enugu State Government will begin to demolish illegal structures, including a mast, around the Akanu Ibiam International airport in Enugu, in the next few weeks.
This was disclosed by Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the state governor, while inspecting facilities in company of Capt. Hamisu Yadudu, managing director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other directors, on Wednesday.
Yadudu noted that that Enugu State governor has also asked FAAN to send a notice to State House for approval, in order to give the occupiers of FAAN land a week or two weeks window to prepare for the demolition.
Yadudu, who noted that the demolition became necessary due to security concerns, added that such contravenes the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
While expressing concern that a lot houses were illegally built around the airfield, Yadudu said, ‘Human habitation close to the airfield poses safety concerns to us because of the heavy equipment and machinery that moves within the environment’.
He noted that human lives would be in danger in situations where aircraft overshoots the runway, adding that it would be better to prevent collateral damages before it happens.
Yadudu praised the governor for fulfilling his promise of relocating the Oriemene Abattoir, from the runway area, adding that FAAN was working on the water scarcity issue at airport.
On the Free Trade Zone, he disclosed that the issues arising from incursion has been resolved, adding that all parties, including the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) FAAN and state government have agreed on delineation between the airport and project area.
MD, FAAN, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu briefing Enugu State governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on their mission to the airport on Wednesday
“We want to express our profound appreciation for acting just as you promised about the market place on the approach end of Runway 06. It was a very severe security hazard, safety risks, and when you made the promise to relocate, it was achieved in a timely manner.
“It is one of the four major problems we have facing our operations in this airport . The other one is geological which water scarcity and we are working on it. The third one is the Free Trade Zone which has been restricting our operations but it has been resolved as we have worked with the Ministry of Aviation, NCAA and representatives of the Free Trade Zone .
Also speaking, an elated Mr. Emeka Ene, managing director of ENPOWER Enugu Free Trade Zone, expressed joy that at last, the Free Trade zone which is expected to create thousands of job would take-off.
“It’s like an investment plan or like aero-tropolis, it attracts companies and helps to enhance investment and it’s like an industrial park that will give life to the airport. It’s a Zone working with Federal agencies like Nigeria Export Promotion Agency (NEXPA), it attracts foreign investors, working closely with agencies like Enugu State Investment Development Authority to attract investment and then to attract employment.
“For example, one f the companies coming here is a German company, that going to employ directly about 1,000 people and 6,000 people indirectly. The airport becomes what it is supposed to be not just to convey passengers but also as a stimuli for industrial activities. A typical example is the Changai Free trade zone which co-exists with the airport, the Dubai airport free trade zone co-exists with the airport, it actually enhances the economic activities of the airport and brings life to it, more airlines and cargo activities would come in because there would be many activities, and things manufactured here would directly be exported to Europe and Asia. This is a very big initiative ad today is a milestone because what has happened today is that FAAN, NCAA, NEXPSA and the state governor have come together to forge a collaborative arrangements where side by side with airport and safety requirements can be an industrial complex to help to energise, the people and have a direct economic impact on the State government. We have reached an alignment because there have been controversies over the location of the fences and safety and security.
“Now, there is a clear understanding where all the aviation agencies have reached an agreement that they are incompliant with ICAO requirements for aerodrome safety and security. Right from next week Monday, we are going to see the fences go up and the areas cleared and it is going to give a clear way now for the investors to now come for investment”, he said.