President Muhammadu Buhari, today, approved N10 billion for the rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
The president disclosed this in a tweet on his official handle @MBuhari.
“I have approved the sum of N10 billion for an intervention fund for the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. I have the assurance of the Minister of Aviation that the work will be done speedily and to the highest standards.
“Even as we have many items competing for our limited resources, we will continue to prioritise infrastructure investments in every part of the country. It is our responsibility to ensure Nigeria’s infrastructure is fixed. We will keep doing this,” the president tweeted.
The approval was given during the president’s meeting with the southeast governors and leaders from the zone at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The southeast leaders had asked for a special fund for the rehabilitation of the airport.
They also called for a special federal government intervention for the speedy completion of the airport and rehabilitation of federal roads in the southeast.
Speaking on behalf of the leaders, the chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum and governor of Ebonyi State, Mr. David Umahi, said: “We are here to kindly urge Mr. President to approve special funds for the Akanu Ibiam Airport just like what was done for Abuja Airport.”
He said the closure of the airport as well as the deplorable state of roads in the southeast had grounded activities in the region and caused much hardship to the people.
Governors present at the meeting included Messrs Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
Also, the senate minority leader, Mr. Enyinnaya Abaribe representing the southeast caucus in the national assembly and Dr. Sam Egwu, former senate president, Mr. Anyim Pius Anyim attended the meeting.
Former southeast governors at the meeting included Mr. Martin Elechi, Ebonyi State; Okwesilieze Nwodo, Enugu State; Sullivan Chime, Enugu State; Achike Udenwa, Imo State, and Ikedi Ohakim also of Imo State
Also at the meeting were Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu, Eric Acho Nwankwo, former managing director of Daily Times, Mr. Onyeama Ugochukwu, Ochiagha Regan Ufomba, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu and president general Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr. John Nnia Nwodo among others.
On the federal government’s side were the secretary to the government of the federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, chief of staff to the president, Mr. Abba Kyari, and the minister of information and culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed.
It would be recalled that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) closed the runway at AIIA for repairs on August 24.