Nigeria: Govt Explains Continued Closure of Other International Airports

Following complaints by stakeholders and air travellers about the delay in the reopening of other international operations at the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa and the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has identified reasons for the delay.

The minister in a statement signed by Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, said that it had been the intention of the federal government to reopen the airports for international flight operations but it is considering certain factors including health and security reasons.

He acknowledged that the continued suspension of international flights to and from the airports was denying the ministry and its agencies a lot of revenue.

The minister said this when he received a high-powered delegation from Kano State, led by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in his office on Tuesday.

According to Sirika, it does not make economic sense for government to spend so much money, as it has done in the airport, and just decide to leave it inoperative with the attendant degeneration on infrastructure, redundancy amongst operational staff, revenue losses, hardship to travellers, amongst others.

He, however, told the delegation that included some members of the Kano State House of Assembly, representatives of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and members of the Kano Chamber of Commerce, that the decision to suspend international flights to and from the airport, like the ones in Enugu and Port Harcourt, were for health and security reasons.