President Buhari orders closure of Abuja international Airport

President Buhari has announced that the Abuja International Airport will be shut down next year.

The Federal Government also said the international airport will be closed between February and March next year.

The Minister for Aviation, State, Mr. Hadi Sirika made the revelations yesterday.

According to him, President Buhari had approved a reconstruction work along the runway of the airport.

The minister said: “From start to finish of the runway, it will take six months.

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“However we will be using the runway almost throughout the period except for about six weeks when the runway will be closed.

“That is when we are going to do the mid-section of the runway.”

According to him, when the runway is completed, it is expected to last for more than 10 years on completion.

On the six weeks closure of the airport to passenger traffic, he said Abuja-bound passengers will be rerouted to the Kaduna Airport.

“It will cost government substantial amount of money.

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“We understand that palliative measures will only last a short while.

“We decided to go for the bigger option which is to do structural repairs on the runway.

“It will take about six months to complete.

The minister also said that the Buhari administration is aware of the pains of air travelers, occasioned by lack of aviation fuel.

“Very soon, the country will be out of this, as we cannot be relying on Ghana for aviation fuel.”

In the midst of all this, the association of pilots and engineers in the country will be embarking on a nationwide strike beginning today.

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A statement signed by their unions said the strike would continue indefinitely until certain conditions were fully realized.

Among other things, the group is requesting that “The management of Arik Air recalls all sacked employees.

“They have been victimized for their roles in the effort to bring about unionization in Arik Air.

“Arik must pay all salary arrears with a commitment to pay salaries as at when due henceforth.

“Arik must also review of all employee remunerations which have remained the same since the inception of Arik Air over 10 years ago,” the unions said.