The Federal government has assured the South/East region that the reconstruction work on Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu will be concluded before December this year.
The Minister of Aviation, Hardi Sirika gave the assurance immediately after a meeting with South East Governors under the auspices of South East Governors’ Forum. The chairman of the forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engineer Dave Umahi, Anambra state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, Enugu state Governor, Right Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, his Imo state counterpart, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, and Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu represented by his Deputy, Sir Ude Chukwu, held a closed door meeting.
Others who took part in the meeting included Security Chiefs in the region, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo delegation led by it’s National President, Chief Nnia Nwodo, former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih, among others.
Speaking to the press, the Aviation Minister, Sirika said the federal government holds the South East region at very high esteem in the country, noting that shutting down the airport was done for safety reasons.
While explaining that he understands the plight of the South East people, the Minister said that the closure was not done without respect to the region as the airport is one of the five international airports owned by the Nation hence, measures have been put in place to upgrade the airport, calling on people of the region to exercise patience with the government.
Briefing the press earlier, the chairman of the forum, Engineer Umahi said that the forum has agreed to institute a joint taskforce to flush out miscreants from forests in the region lamenting that herdsmen moving cattles around the region has created problems between them and farmers.
Engineer Umahi restated that the forum banned herdsmen with guns in the region.
He said that they understand the deplorable nature of the airport but would prefer that the contract for the proposed reconstruction work is awarded to Julius Berger.
Appreciating the Minister for heeding to their call, Engineer Umahi assured that in the coming weeks, the Forum will reveal the palliative works that will be done at the Airport, adding that assurances have been given to the Forum by the Minister that the Sam Mbakwe airport will be given a facelift, among other issues they discussed.