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Abuja Runway: Sign Nigeria is ready for aviation business

MD NAMA capt. Fola Akinkuotu

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Captain Fola Akinkuotu has commended the Minister of State for Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika for the successful repair and delivery of the Abuja Airport runway, saying it was a major confidence booster for the air transport sector.

The NAMA boss said by delivering the revamped runway ahead of schedule, the Minister was “sending an unambiguous message to stakeholders and investors, both foreign and local that Nigerian Aviation was ready to do serious business,” adding that “To the travelling public, he is saying, trust government, we can deliver, we can do great things.”

Capt. Akinkuotu made these remarks in a chat with newsmen in Lagos at the weekend, barely two days after the Abuja airport was reopened for business after a six-week closure to enable repair of the its sole and failed runway. During the closure, local and international flights were diverted to the alternate Kaduna International Airport, which was also upgraded to handle large volumes of flights and passengers.

He also applauded the role played by the Governor of Kaduna State Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Minister of Transportation, Hon.Rotimi Amechi, Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and other cabinet Ministers for their efforts in making the project a success.
His words: “They all showed uncommon leadership here. They rallied everyone behind them. In fact, Senator Sirika worked round the clock. He took nothing for granted. He was on ground in Abuja and in Kaduna all the time. He has been exemplary. That’s why he succeeded.”

He said Senator Sirika was “purposeful, determined and focused,” stressing, “that paid off and today the airlines, passengers and the entire industry are now enjoying the dividends.”

Captain Akinkuotu who noted that during the closure of Abuja, Kaduna Airport recorded well over 3, 000 domestic flights said the presence of NAMA’s air traffic controllers in sufficient numbers and the upgrade of landing aids by NAMA engineers contributed in making that feat a reality.

He also commended technical and operational staff of the agency for ensuring that NAMA played a critical role in the smooth running of Kaduna International Airport. “ I must commend them for displaying such diligence. They are well trained and motivated and it showed in their commendable performance. I will continue to build their capacity to enhance our air navigation service delivery,” the NAMA helmsman added.


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