As the November 6 Governorship election in Anambra State draws near, Anambra Civil Society Network (ACSONET), a platform for Citizens and Non State Actors, has implored the Federal Government to ensure that the Umueri international cargo and passenger airport, is opened for public use before the fixed date for the election.
The Chairman of the group, Prince Chris Azor, who doubles as the National Coordinator, Coalition on Improving Service Delivery (NACOISED), while speaking to newsmen after a Monitoring and Evaluation exercise, disclosed that the Terminal building of the airport is finally ready.
Prince Azor recalled that on Monday July 12, 2021, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, flew into the State through the airport, on their way to commission some projects at Innoson Motors, Nnewi.
He opined that opening the airport before the forthcoming governorship election would address the current security challenges, while assisting INEC in delivering free, fair, credible and peaceful election, through prompt arrival of election materials and sundry logistics.
The Citizens’ Advocate explained further that delivering free, fair, credible and peaceful election is at the core of good governance and efficient service delivery, which must not be compromised under any guise.
Recall that Anambra State Government, under the Governor, Chief (Sir) Willie Obiano barely a year ago, commenced construction of an international cargo and passenger airport, and in April 2021, two aircraft on test run, landed at the Umueri site.
One of the most modern airports in Africa at 3.7 kilometers long and 60 metre wide, the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri has the longest runway in Nigeria, slightly an edge over Murtala Muhammad International Airport Lagos.
The airport terminal is designed to accommodate 400 persons. It has three floors fitted with escalators and lifts for smooth and easy movement. It was designed with the possibilities of a future expansion in mind. The Apron measures 300x200m x560mm of reinforced concrete that can take six sizeable aircraft at once. The Apron is serviced by two standard Taxiways that measure 35m wide with shoulders. It also has three ultramodern firefighting trucks and three 6×6 Crash-tender with 770hp. The car park can comfortably take 400 cars.
The ACSONET Chair identified equipping the airport with an Instrument Landing System (ILS), which guarantees safe landing for aeroplanes at night, as an outstanding innovative feature.
He, however, assured that the organized Civil Society would ensure regular Statewide Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting of projects and Service delivery, for Transparency and Accountability.
“Considering the current security challenges and the need for INEC, the Election Management Body to deliver free, fair, credible and violence-free election in the State, come November 16, it’s advocated that the federal government opens up the airport for use, before, during and after the Governorship election”, Prince Azor submitted.