Ebonyi airport runway repairs to gulp N13.7bn

The development and maintenance of infrastructure, especially airports, play a crucial role in the socio-economic growth and connectivity of a region or a country. In recent news, it was announced that the Ebonyi State Government in Nigeria plans to invest a substantial sum of N13.7 billion to repair the runway of the Ebonyi Airport. This significant investment has raised questions, sparked discussions, and generated public interest.

Ebonyi Airport, officially known as the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, is located in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State in southeastern Nigeria. The airport serves as a key transportation hub for the region and facilitates travel, trade, and economic activities.

The airport is named after the late Dr. Akanu Ibiam, a prominent Nigerian medical doctor, statesman, and governor of the former Eastern Region of Nigeria. In 2019, the Federal Government of Nigeria approved the designation of the airport as an international airport, which marked a significant milestone in improving air connectivity for the southeastern region of Nigeria.

The decision to invest N13.7 billion in the repair of the Ebonyi Airport’s runway stems from a pressing need for infrastructure maintenance. The runway is a critical component of any airport, as it directly impacts flight safety, operational efficiency, and the ability to serve both domestic and international flights.

Over time, due to wear and tear, climatic factors, and the sheer volume of flights and cargo, airport runways can deteriorate. Cracks, potholes, and uneven surfaces can pose serious risks to aircraft during takeoff and landing, leading to safety concerns. In addition, a well-maintained runway is essential for attracting airlines and promoting air travel, which, in turn, stimulates economic growth and development in the region.

The Commissioner for Aviation and Technology in Ebonyi State, Mrs. Ngozi Obichukwu, has announced the state government’s plan to repair the deteriorated runway of Chuba Okadigbo International Airport in Onueke at an estimated cost of N13.7 billion.

Obichukwu revealed this information in Abakaliki on Tuesday and identified Infrastructure Development Company as the contractor responsible for the project. She also mentioned that the project is anticipated to be completed within a maximum timeframe of eight months.

She also mentioned that the project is anticipated to be completed within a maximum timeframe of eight months

According to the Commissioner, the runway, when completed, will boost the economic viability and development of the state “by a greater percentage”.

She said, “The installation of the asphalt plant is ongoing. The contractor has started casting the asphalt plant base before the installation of the components. N13.7bn is involved.

“From my site seeing, I confirm some of their construction equipment that is on the ground, such as excavator, bulldozer, payloader, crane, water tanker, truck, bituminous tank, and paver machine.

“More machines are still on the way, such as vibration rollers, milling machines, graders, and others.

The surveyor team has almost concluded its work on the Chuba Okadigbo International Airport runway readings. We are sure the contractor, IDC, will deliver on the quality project.”

The decision by the Ebonyi State Government to allocate N13.7 billion for the repair of Ebonyi Airport’s runway underscores the importance of maintaining critical infrastructure in the pursuit of safety, economic growth, and regional development. This investment is not just about repairing a runway; it is an investment in the future of the state and its people. By prioritizing the safety of passengers, fostering economic development, and promoting regional connectivity, Ebonyi State is taking significant steps toward a brighter and more prosperous future.

As the runway repairs progress, it is crucial to ensure transparency, accountability, and effective project management to maximize the benefits of this substantial investment. The citizens of Ebonyi State and the entire region can look forward to safer, more convenient travel options, increased economic opportunities, and a brighter outlook for the future.

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