Stakeholders at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu have been worried that two months after the much-celebrated commissioning of the resurfaced runway of the airports, several projects meant to upgrade the airport are yet to be completed, even as the Christmas season draws nearer.
Such projects that have been going on at snail paces include the renovation of the ceilings of the local terminal building, even as the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika is accused of abandoning the construction of the international terminal building, but rather plugged N15 billion into Katsina Airport construction.
Other projects that are yet to be completed include the runway lights, the water supply to the airport, the perimeter fencing, car park expansion, landscaping, clinic building, pilots’ lounge, among other projects.
The Corporate Affairs Manager of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Akanu Ibiam Airport, Mrs. Josephine Ajara confirmed to SEV that several projects have not been completed at the airport and counted them to include the renovation of the toilets, airfield lighting, perimeter fencing, the clinic and others.
The Enugu State government is handling the renovation of the airport toilets that became bad due to the inferior materials that were used for its construction when the terminal building was remodelled in 2010.
SEV learnt that the rehabilitation of the terminal building ceiling would have been completed but for hiccups being experienced in bringing the ceiling woods from Lagos State. The terminal building is yet to have good air conditioning system as most of the Air conditioners were supplied with substandard systems.
It was also reliably gathered that sharp practice and the alleged premeditated plan to cheat in the installation of the airfield lighting is responsible for the hitch that has put the project in comatose.
General Manager of N-Power Enugu Industrial Park Free Trade Zone, Mr. Uche Maduemesi lamented that the uncompleted airport for over one year has stalled the commercial activities of his company, particularly with lack of international flights that are yet to resume landing at the Enugu Airport.
Maduemesi said that the situation was made worse with the airfield lights that are still not functional after it was advertised that all were ready for activities to resume in full swing at the only Eastern gateway.
He said: “Nothing has been completed at the airport, only the runway was rushed so that flights could start landing but every other thing including roads have not been completed. All these uncompleted projects are affecting our enterprise because if they were completed, we would have commenced businesses. There is no international flight yet and it’s through international flights that cargo will come from overseas and so it affecting the free zone.
“Free zone will thrive on international flights with cargoes coming in. It’s affecting our business because international flights are the backbone of free trade zone. The government need to step up and round off the projects. It’s not enough to rush and commission only the runway, they need to complete every other thing so that the airport could be a true international airport in all ramifications.”