Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of State, Aviation
By Sade Williams
As a follow up to the decision of the Federal government to temporarily shut down operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for repairs on the runway and the taxi ways of the airport, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika is to engage the Industry Stakeholders on issues arising from the proposed closure.
According to the Minister, the Stakeholders Forum will afford him the opportunity to officially inform the Sector players of the decision, and also brief them on efforts being made to ensure that the use of the Kaduna International Airport as an alternate during the Six-Week closure of the Abuja Airport is seamless and hitch-free.
Sirika who emphasised that the Forum is in line with government belief in ventilating people’s opinions in formulating and executing policies, further said that the Stakeholders who have been invited for the meeting on Thursday January 5th , 2017, would also be expected to make their contributions, and key into the plans to make their operations during the period less problematic.
Government, he said, is aware of the likely high level of discomfort and inconvenience the proposed closure of the airport would cause air transport passengers, airline operators and other service providers, but explained that the decision was informed by safety and security concerns, saying that government would rather lose billions of dollars in revenue than risk lives.
The Minister also disclosed that the Ministry would invite other Ministries, Departments and Agencies and organisations, including Security agencies, the Kaduna state government, the Media and others that are expected to play roles during the Six-Week period.
The Minister had revealed government plans to shut down the Abuja Airport during an unscheduled visit to monitor operations during the yuletide period.