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Enugu govt debunks NRC’s falsehood to ensure safe reopening of airport


The Enugu State Government has expressed dismay over what it described as “unfortunate, deliberate and malicious falsehood” against it and its development control agency, the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), by the Enugu zone of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).

A statement by the state commissioner for information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, said the: “Calculated attempt to bring the state to disrepute is as a result of the state government’s determination to fully implement the request of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the resolution of the South-East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) by removing all obstructions to the reconstruction and critical infrastructure works at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, aimed at improving the safety standards of the airport”.

Aroh reaffirmed the state government’s commitment, as the host state, to implement to the letter, the decision of the South-East Governors’ Forum, and ensure speedy completion of the ongoing rehabilitation and construction work at the airport.

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Presenting a detailed narrative of what transpired, the information commissioner, who stressed the need to put the records straight, said: “Pursuant to the resolution of the South-East Governors’ Forum referred to above, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) requested for the removal of obstruction at the airport construction site along Ukwu Orji area by the rail tracks as contained in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria letter to the Governor reference no. FAAN/ENU/AM/22/VOL.V32 of May 11th, 2020.

The state government then directed the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) to issue appropriate notices to all owners and occupants of illegal shanties and structures obstructing the construction of critical infrastructure at the airport.

On June 29, 2020, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) issued a public notice advising all owners of illegal shanties and structures obstructing the construction of critical infrastructure at the airport to remove same within two weeks.

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On July 10, 2020, the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), in line with the Federal Government’s directive on the upgrade of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and pursuant to the request of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), published a public notice on page 28 of Vanguard Newspaper, giving notice of demolition to all occupants/owners of illegal structures and shanties, obstructing the construction of critical infrastructure at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. The agency gave a further 3-week notice that demolition will commence from July 31, 2020.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by another letter reference no. FAAN/ENU/AM/15/VOL.6, dated July 21, 2020, forwarded to the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) a comprehensive map detailing the areas and structures obstructing the construction of critical infrastructure at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu that have been marked for removal.

In line with the above and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders and community leaders in the affected areas, the Enugu State Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) commenced demolition and removal of shanties and illegal structures within the affected areas to ensure speedy completion, upgrade of critical infrastructure and eventual reopening of the all-important Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

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It is on record that in its commitment to ensuring the speedy completion, upgrade of critical infrastructure and safe operation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu, the Enugu State Government has taken the following additional steps:

i. Relocation of the 120 meters Enugu State Broadcasting Services mast

ii. Construction of 1.3 km asphalt road to the airport navigational facility.

iii. Provision of finance for upgrade and refurbishment of existing toilet facilities in the terminal building. This includes the installation of sensor sanitary sittings such as contactless automatic taps and flush systems, baby changing facilities, handicapped toilets, air conditioning and ventilation system.

The state government has no intention whatsoever to acquire any piece of land belonging to the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), rather the government is determined to provide all needed support to the Nigeria Railway Corporation and any other Federal Government agency operating within the state to ensure their full operation and functionality.

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Finally, no amount of blackmail, falsehood or malicious propaganda will deter the state government, as the government is irrevocably committed to the upgrade, speedy completion of the critical infrastructure work and safe re-opening of this very important National Security Asset located in Enugu state.”

Enugu state is in the hands of God! #amokelouis

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