Abuja airport second runway long overdue- Stakeholders

Flay minister over N1.7bn consultancy fee

Aviation stakeholders have thrown their weight behind the federal government over the approval for the commencement of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport second runway in Abuja.

Stakeholders who spoke to Daily Times in Lagos described the approval as a welcome development and long overdue stressing the importance of the airport to the country.

Comrade Olayinka Abioye, the immediate past general secretary of the national union of air transport employees said said Abuja as the Federal Capital that the preponderance of flight activities in and out of the airport, there was a need for the second Runway.

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 Abioye said there has  been the outcry for another or additional runway to cope with the number of aircraft movements. “I am in agreement that a second runway is required to meet with the demands of today in the airport.

On this basis, the Ministry was said to have submitted a memo to the Federal Executive Council for consideration and that Memo has been given approval by FEC to engage a consultant or a consortium of consultants to midwife the design of the said second runway and other ancillary matters thereto.”

The labour leader however condemned what he called unfortunate but not surprising whooping N1.7billion appropriated for consultancy fees. “Unfortunately but not surprising, a whooping N1.7billion has been appropriated as fees for the said Consultants”

“It is shocking to note that at a time the nation needs more revenues to kick start and sustain our shaky economy and rescue her from the recession, government gave approval of this humongous the amount for consultancy. As far as I am concerned, the amount is not only too much, but it is not economically wise at this point in time.”

Abioye queried how the ministry arrived at the quoted amount of N1.7billion for the consultants and the aspect of the job to be handled adding that everything was becoming more political than policy as the amount was grossly bloated.

” How did the Ministry come up with the quoted amount? Who is or are the Consultants or Consortium to handle this aspect of the job? Was there any bidding and if yes, when and how?

” Methinks the whole things has again become more of a political means rather than a policy.

A second runway is required but not now! The amount is grossly bloated, and the entire project once again is shrouded in secrecy and therefore questionable”

“By the way, does this request reflect in the ministry’s 2020 budget and approved by the National Assembly? I think not.

God bless Nigeria and give our leaders the desired wisdom to do things right”

In his contribution, the Chairman FAAN branch of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Comrade Danjuma Ahmad said it was a welcome development as it was highly needed at the airport

Danjuma said the cost for the consultancy appeared big but said only the engineers could determine what the components of scope of work will be “We really need a second runway in Abj, as for the cost of consultancy it looks big but we are not engineers to determine what are the components of the scope of work from where we can ascertain whether it’s too much or not, but we need a second Runway.”

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