Land Tussle May Delay Repairs, Reopening of Enugu Airport

The ownership contest of a portion of Akanu Ibiam International Airport land may delay the repair works and reopen of the airport.

The Guardian learned that the land contest between a private estate developer, J.J Emejulu, and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has lately festered, with fresh litigations now in the offing.

Apparently aware of its implication for the critical infrastructure, concerned stakeholders in the region have expressed readiness to rally behind FAAN and timely completion of the project.

In response to inquiries on the encroachment, the Chairman of House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, said nobody would stand in the way of reopening the airport as scheduled, warning those fighting for land to stop sabotaging the interest of the Southeast zone.

Also, the erstwhile President of Southeast and South South Professionals, Emeka Ugwuoju, advised all parties in the land dispute to concede their personal stakes to the public interest.

Ugwuoju said the ongoing rehabilitation and upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport remain strategic to the economy of the region.

He said all government institutions and facilities are built on land acquired from original owners in public interest. He wondered why acquisition of lands for development of critical development infrastructure would be a major issue in Enugu State.

He stated that anybody taking actions that would affect the reopening of the Enugu airport is an instigated agent working against the people of the entire southeast region of the country.

Recall that the Federal Government recently approved the sum of N10 billion for the rehabilitation of the airport. The airport was in August shut down for urgent repairs following safety concerns over the damaged runway.

FAAN had prior to the closure said the move was aimed at resolving the existing safety and security concerns to flight operations.

Though December completion date was earlier fixed, delays in the rehabilitation had caused many to raise doubts on the commitment of the Federal Government to fix the airport.


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