The immediate past Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu should be closed to avoid impending air mishap.
Sirika, who is one of the ministerial nominees, spoke when he appeared before the Senate for screening and confirmation for reappointment as a minister.
In his chat with reporters, the Katsina State nominee said that left for him the Enugu Airport should be closed immediately to save lives.
He described the runway of the airport as an eyesore not befitting a modern airport.
Sirika said, “On Enugu Airport, I visited Enugu Airport as minister thrice including the state government and unofficially twice. It has a lot of problems.
“If you ask me, I will close Enugu Airport tomorrow actually today because the runway has failed.
“They are maintaining it regularly to ensure safe operations. I am not comfortable because there are also other problems with the runway.
“It (runway) is short, it needs to be extended. We recognise the efforts by the Federal Government by closing down the market beside the airport.
“Also people have built within the premises of the airport on the safety area of the airport and that ought not to be on the land belonging to Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). “Whoever is the next minister will contend with that because this is safety. Enugu Airport will be dear to the next minister.
“That is my personal opinion. We are very jealous of that city and the airport.”
On the establishment of a national carrier, he said, “Should President Muhammadu Buhari still thinks that I go transportation, I will continue with that good job. It is good for the future and fortune of Nigerians. One aeroplane is equal to 300 direct jobs. This is a priority that should be taken.”