The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu has stated that the successful repair and timely delivery of the Abuja Airport runway was a major confidence booster for the aviation industry.
This is just as he commended the Minister of State for Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika for a job well done.
His comment is coming 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.
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.
Recalled that 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.
According to him, “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.” Capt. 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 (ATC) in sufficient numbers and the upgrade of landing aids by NAMA engineers contributed in making that feat a reality.
The NAMA boss 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.