The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the timely completion of the Abuja International Airport runway has confirmed that “Nigerians elected a responsive, responsible and capable federal government”
The minister said this on Wednesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Segun Adeyemi.
The runway was completed ahead of schedule and airlines have been flying in after a six-week closure.
The reopening of the airport for air operations came a day before the expiration of the official deadline.
The first international airline to land at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was the Ethiopian Airlines which was also the first to land at the Kaduna Airport.
The minister said that the delivery of the project even before the scheduled date showed government’s ability to live up to its promise and rise up to any occasion, irrespective of how daunting the challenge may be.
He described as “a remarkable achievement” the ability of the government to complete the reconstruction of the runway within the stipulated time, despite doomsday predictions.
“The clockwork precision with which everything concerning the closure of the airport and the temporary relocation to the Kaduna Airport was handled is the clearest indication yet that Nigeria can tackle any challenge,” he said.
He noted that the rehabilitation of the Abuja-Kaduna road, the provision of effective security along the highway showed that Nigerians have what it takes to make the country a proud member of the comity of nations.
Mohammed also hailed the perfect handling of the massive logistics involved in ensuring that the Kaduna Airport was able to handle a large number of flights.
The minister told those who might want to trivialise the feat to realise that a 30-year overdue rehabilitation was achieved in just six weeks during an economic recession.
He pointed out that the Port Harcourt International Airport was closed for almost two years by the Jonathan administration.
Mohammed thanked Nigerians for enduring the inconveniences that came with the redirection of Abuja flights to Kaduna.
He also thanked the Ethiopian Airlines that operated its scheduled Abuja flights to Kaduna and the Julius Berger construction company that worked day and night to deliver the project ahead of schedule.
Mohammed said the success recorded in the timely reconstruction of the runway could only rank next to the determined effort with which the government contained the Boko Haram insurgency.