The Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Toby Okechukwu, has called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps towards reopening the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and the remaining international air facilities to international flight operations.
Okechukwu, in a statement he issued on Sunday, said such step had become expedient ahead of the Yuletide season when Nigerians were expected to visit their homes from every part of the world.
In the statement titled, ‘Reopen Enugu Airport, others to international flights, Reps Deputy Minority Leader tells FGm’ the lawmaker noted that multiple stopovers would expose people to more risks than a direct flight to their destinations during a pandemic.
Okechukwu said this in reaction to the announcement by the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa Nuhu, on the planned reopening of the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and the Port Harcourt International Airport to international flights.
The Deputy Minority Leader added that since the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had earlier said the Akanu Ibiam International Airport had been better equipped for international operations; it made no economic sense for the Federal Government to keep the airport shut from operations after investing a whooping N10bn in upgrading it.
The statement partly read in part, “The Christmas and New Year season is the period our international airports are most socially and economically relevant to both Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.”