Fashola justifies closure of Abuja airport

Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria''s Minister of Power and Housing

Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power and Housing

The Nigerian Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Raji Babatunde Fashola dazzled the Senate on Tuesday, when he said that the proposed closure of Abuja international Airport was the best decision for Nigeria, adding that other countries across the world had, at one time or the other, closed their airport too, as safety measures.

Mr. Fashola was summoned by the Senate on Thursday, to make contributions on the ongoing debate on the planned closure of the airport.

According to the Minister, closing the airport for the period of 6 weeks was a good safety measure, as failure to carry out the repair of the runway could pose great danger to the lives of passengers.

He argued that countries like India, Colombia, Philippines and others had shut down operations of airlines in their international airport in the past, adding that Nigeria would not be the first in that regard.

On why Kaduna airport was chosen as alternative route for the said period, despite the proximity of Niger airport to Abuja, Fashola said the road network of Abuja – Kaduna route is more motorable than the Abuja – Minna route.

He,therefore, urged the Senate and Nigerians, to allow the Ministry of Aviation carry out repair on the runway of Abuja international Airport, in the better interest of the masses.

He also advised that the use of Kaduna airport would be the best alternative, for the period of 6 weeks.

It could be recalled that the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika appeared before the Senate on Thursday, where he made frantic effort to convince the lawmakers to support the proposed closure of the international airport.