BusinessDay

FG to take over Lafia Cargo Airport, sends team to inspect, evaluate facility

The process of taking over the ownership of the Lafia Cargo Airport by the Federal Government has reached its final stage and is expected to get the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in the next couple of weeks.

This is just as a team from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning were in Lafia, to inspect and to further evaluate the facility, and thereafter make necessary recommendations to FEC for approval.

Their visit was part of the process for the refunding of about N10 billion to the state government, as total sum expended for the construction of the Lafia Cargo Airport.

The former Governor of the state, Umaru Tanko Almakura, who started the project, was completed by Governor Abdullahi Sule and commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari during his 2-day visit to Lafia.

Suzette Taylor-Lee Chee, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, who led the team on a courtesy visit to Governor Abdullahi Sule in Lafia said, they were in the state to inspect the Cargo airport as part of the process leading to the taking over the facility by the Federal Government.

The permanent secretary, who was represented by a director from the Ministry, Victor Amata acknowledged that, the ministry was in receipt of all the necessary documents and have gotten the desired support, regarding the handing over of the airport.

“However, part of the procedure of refund is for us to inspect the project before we communicate it to the council.

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“We want to assure you that after this inspection, I am sure in the next couple of weeks we will get FEC approval for this project,” she stated.

Governor Abdullahi Sule thanked the Federal Government, especially President Muhammadu, for approving the takeover of the airport.

Sule appealed to the team to consider inspecting the Lafia-Keffi road, which serve as a bypass linking the airport.

“Even though that would be outside your responsibility, I will plead with you to also look at the road. I am happy you came on the road through Akwanga.

“But the former governor, Senator Umaru Tanko Almakura, as he was building the airport, he began the construction of another road that will link to almost Keffi, which will now reduce almost one and a half hours of time from Abuja.

“That’s the purpose of this airport, to link us to Abuja. But it will not be for only people of Nasarawa State. It will be for the people of Benue, Taraba and other eastern and southern part of the country that come through Lafia,” he explained.

The governor told the team that, the Lafia Cargo airport has the latest technology, starting from the weather control to the control tower.

He showed appreciation to the permanent secretary, Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, as well as the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who played a key role towards ensuring the takeover of the airport becoming a success.

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