Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika said he was ready to resign if the Abuja airport runway is not fixed within the six weeks slated for completion of work on the facility that defied new maintenance procedure, necessitating the shutdown of the facility.
This came as the Minister disclosed that the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos is in line for certification May this year while that of Abuja is expected to be the next in line for certification December 2017.
Sirika made the disclosures Monday when the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed met with the apex aviation think-tank comprising highly respected aviation veterans, said work on the Abuja airport was going smoothly, stressing that he staked his reputation and everything he has to ensure that the facility is ready by April 19, 2017. Both agreed that the project would be delivered next month.
He explained that the decision to close the runway for repair was a painful one, stressing that safety was what the President looked at before agreeing that the runway be closed for total repairs.
His words: “I will resign if the deadline for completion of that runway is not finished in six weeks. I put all my integrity and commitment to get that runway ready in six weeks. I told people that this may rank as another eight wonder of the world.
“Already, they have done three weeks of work on the runway and work has reached about 50 per cent of work. I told anybody that if we must close the runway, it has to be for six weeks. We cut down the time from 13 weeks to six weeks. People are working night and day to complete this job.”
Sirika explained that to make the job faster, the Federal Government chartered two cargo planes that gulped N150 million to transport equipment that would enhance work on the renovation.