The Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, was on Sunday opened for flight operations.
DAILY POST recalls that the Airport was shut down August last year, for repair works and expansion of the runway.
Amidst jubilation by the people of the Southeast Zone, the aviation minister, Senator Hadi Sirika cut the tape on Sunday, signalling resumption of flight operations.
Sirika commended president Muhammadu Buhari for approving and releasing 10 billion naira for the rehabilitation works.
He recalled that President Buhari had asked him to embark on the rehabilitation work after safety concerns were raised and commended him for fulfilling his promise.
He further disclosed that a lot of works were done in the airport, stating that the airport could now carry out night flight operations following provision of night facilities.
The Minister, however, noted that in the course of the rehabilitation works, they encountered a lot of challenges like Covid-19 lockdown, the Orie Emene Markert, destruction of the perimeter fencing, among others.
He expressed appreciation to the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for helping them to contain some of the challenges through the demolition of Orie Emene Markert and some Government facilities.
He commended the efforts of the South East Governors in setting up the Akanu Ibiam Rehabilitation Committee, pointing out that the committee served with patriotism.
According to him, the newly rehabilittated airport was a testimony of the burning desire of the administration of president Muhammadu Buhari to provide infrastructure for the country
Earlier in his remarks, the governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum, Dave Umahi expressed happiness over the reopening of the airport, saying the rehabilitation of the airport was a risk worth taking.
While commending President Buhari for approving a special fuding for the project, Umahi described him as a passionate leader.
Umahi stressed the need for South East Governors and leaders to make out time to tell Buhari that they were indeed grateful over what he is doing in the region.
“It was a risk worth taking. South East leaders and governors must make out time to tell president Muhammadu Buhari that we are very grateful,” he said.
Others present at the occasion were Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, represented by his Deputy, Governor Willy Obiano of Anambra State, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nnia Nwodo, among others.