The usual misery and humilaition associated with international travel from filthy Murtala Mohamed Internation Airport in Lagos may be a thing of the past if the proposed first international flight scheduled to take off from Enugu to Addis Ababa goes ahead smoothly on August the 24th.
It will represent a history making moment for Biafrans at the heart of government in Nigeria when the first international flight takes off from the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu yesterday commended the President Goodluck Jonathan administration for making it possible for the Akanu Ibiam International Airport to commence international flight operations.
Ekweremadu gave the commendation against the background of the scheduled commencement of international flights at the airport on August 24 by Ethiopian Airlines. Other international airlines, including Emirates and Turkish Airlines would soon commence operations at the airport.
Senator Ekweremadu, who described the development as a “major milestone in the infrastructural renewal of the South-East and a monumental boost for both trade and Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) for the entire country,” also said it would alleviate the challenges faced by business persons travelling to the South-East.
“For many decades, the people of the South-East, local and international business communities had waited endlessly for the commencement of international flight o perations in this airport. I know the people of the South-East will remain ever grateful to President Jonathan for this breakthrough.”
The deputy president of the Senate also commended the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, whom he said took the initial practical steps towards making the airport an international facility and a sub-regional aviation hub.
Extolling the Jonathan administration for faithfully nurturing his predecessor’s dream to reality, Senator Ekweremadu said the materialization of the vision h ighlighted the need for policy and project continuity in governance.
“It is also noteworthy that this project has gone on smoothly under the tenures of Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, who facilitated discussions with the late President Yar’Adua on the project as Minister of Transport, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, who started the actual construction as Minister of Aviation and the current Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, who has driven this vision with tremendous commitment, passion and vigour to the point of reality today.”
The Senator also commended members of the Enugu State caucus of the National Assembly for committing their entire constituency project funds for 2008 to boosting budgetary provisions for the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in accordance with the understanding reached with the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.