The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of N92.12billion for the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The approval by the council comes a day after President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a new terminal building at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, disclosed the approval of the fund on Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the virtual council meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital.
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According to him, the approved fund will be spread over a number of works to be carried out at the airport within a period of 12 months.
Asked how the government intends to raise the fund for the project, the minister explained that the administration would use the same pattern it had used to raise the money for other projects across sectors to achieve the current mandate.
President Muhammadu Buhari with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and others during the FEC meeting at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 23, 2022.
The approval is a follow-up of President Buhari’s directive to the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, to source special funding for the second runway of the airport.
He had also directed the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, to conclude the documentation of the approved 12,000 hectares of land to accommodate the runway and other developmental projects.
At the event in Lagos on Tuesday, the President asked the aviation minister to fast-track the airport concession programme, to boost aviation practice in the country and make the aviation industry reflect global standards.
In his view, the completion and delivery of five brand new international airport terminals since 2015, which were at 11 per cent completion level then, align perfectly with the aviation roadmap developed in 2016 for the purposes of establishing critical infrastructure, including a national carrier as well as maintenance, repairs and overhaul centre, and improved airports terminals through concession.