The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said on Thursday that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, would be completed by April, 2020.
He stated this in an interview with journalists shortly after he defended his 2020 budget before the Senate Committee on Aviation.
The Minister also said that the national carrier would soon be a reality.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week approved N10bn Special Intervention Fund for the immediate repairs and upgrade of the Enugu airport.
The Minister said his Ministry was waiting for the release of the approved money and that the time for the procurement certainly would be before Easter next year.
He said, “We are waiting for the release (of the N10bn) and I am sure it will be released very soon.
“We are meeting with the contractor. He will give us his programme of work; we will look at that programme of work diligently and ensure it is procured within the time and within the budget. And the time for the procurement certainly will be before Easter.”
On the national carrier, Sirika said, “I have been consistent on this issue of National Carrier; it is coming very soon.”
“We have finished the outline business case, which had been duly considered by Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission and passed.
“They are back to us now and we have set up a committee as required by law and by the programme, we will go to the market very soon and once we are in the market, we will procure.”
Asked how the Ministry had been able to curtail the issue of air crashes, the Minister said he had put in place all those things that would ensure safe operations.
He said, “We also ensure the training and retraining of our personnel. We also trained and retrained those who man the airplanes.
“We regulate them to ensure they are doing the right things and at the right time and ensure that they are so proficient enough to be able to handle the operations safely.