Lack of funds jeopardise plan to build 2nd runway in Abuja, Nigeria

THE construction of the second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria is at risk of being derailed owing to a lack of significant funding.

The runway, estimated to cost NGN67 billion (US$186 million) according to the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has so far been allocated just NGN18 billion.

However, until the final architecture of the second runway is ready, the exact cost cannot be determined. Currently, consultants have been appointed to perform the technical and engineering designs of the runway, which hasn't been finalised, reported Daily Trust Lagos.

It is believed that the proposed second runway at the Abuja airport will be equipped with an instrument landing system (ILS) and other modern navigational aids.

Last week at the budget defence for the Ministry of Transportation, Senator Sirika lamented the low budgetary allocation on the Abuja airport second runway.

"The second runway is extremely very critical to aviation activities especially as regards making Abuja a hub of aviation activities."

He noted that an attempt earlier by government to procure the second runway was frustrated by politics. "Now there is the collective resolve of members of the National Assembly, the executives, the Nigerian people and aviators that we should procure this facility. I don't think NGN8 billion will be adequate."

Nigeria shut down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja for one month in 2017 for runway repairs. The runway has been fixed but that isn't a permanent solution to the looming crisis on that airport. Prior to its fixing, the existing Abuja airport runway superstructure had completely failed after a decade of prior maintenance.

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