Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said the federal government has decided to take up the construction of the second Abuja airport runway before handing it over to a concessionaire.
Sirika disclosed this during the ministry’s budget defence to the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Land, Transport, Maritime Safety and Administration, Aviation, Port Harbours and Waterways.
He also noted that the total amount needed for the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja is N63bn, though only N8bn is set aside for the runway in the 2018 budget, describing it as too small for such significant project in the country’s Federal Capital Territory.
The minister told the lawmakers that if the Federal Government decided to go with the provisions of budget, it would take forever for the runway to be completed, as only N30bn was proposed as capital budget for the entire aviation sector in the 2018 Appropriation Bill.
He explained that the second runway became very important due to the increasing busy nature of the NAIA, adding that oftentimes, airline operators would be on the ground for 20 to 30 minutes waiting to take off or to land.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, explained that the rail line from Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic was mainly to encourage business owners to use Nigerian seaports as against the use of those of neighbouring countries.

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