Airport reopening based on readiness, not geo-political considerations-Sirika

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Federal government has said that although airports around the country are beginning to open up for operation, it is at liberty to close any airport if need be.

He stated that airports were not open on the basis of geo-political considerations, but readiness and adherence to protocols.

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, made this known during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 press briefing where he also gave a breakdown of some airports that were ready to reopen and others that were still adjusting to comply to the restart guidelines.

Sirika said,  “We did say that all airports in Nigeria are open for domestic operations from 15th July, it remains so.

“However, we are at liberty to open and close airports, depending on so many other operational reasons, at any point in time. COVID or not, we can open or close airports.”

” Unfortunately, we are living in a country where everything is so polarised that everything is trivialised.

“We received lots of pressure and questions regarding opening one airport in each geo-political zone and pressured to open Owerri.

“We did open Owerri because we believe Owerri was good to open not because of any consideration whatsoever. If Owerri wasn’t good to open we wouldn’t open Owerri.

“Now we are receiving questions from Sokoto. Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Port Harcourt International Airport, Mallam Aminu Kano, Maiduguri Airport, Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri and Uyo Airport are running.”

“Yola and Kadunq airports are to open tonight ( yesterday) 16 July. Calabash Airport has been inspected and in the process of resuming soon as the faulty security equipment is dealt with.

“Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi Airports will be ready for inspection on Friday 17 July 2020. Benin, Akure, Ilorin and Ibadan aren’t ready for inspection until 20th July 2020. Madurai and Jos are to be inspected on Saturday 18th July 2020.”

The minister also said, “Airports that are not ready for inspection include Bauchi, Gombe, Asaba, Escravos, Dutse and Osubi Airport.”

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