The senate has expressed reservations about the decision of the federal government to close the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, summoning three ministers.
Those to appear before the upper legislative chamber are: Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation; Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, and Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation.
It also summoned Sadique Abubakar, chief of air staff, and the managing directors of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
In a motion moved by Hope Uzodinma, a senator from Imo state, the upper legislative chamber said the closure of the airport would bring untold hardship to travellers.
It, therefore, called for a better option to the planned action.
“The senate notes with concern the decision of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to close Abuja airport for six weeks from March 6, 2017 to carry out repairs,” the motion read.
“Senate is worried that a six-week outright closure of a major and the only airport in the Federal Capital Territory can trigger untold hardships on air travellers.
“The senate is also aware of the logistics and security challenges the diversion of Abuja bound flights to Kaduna will throw up.
“The senate is determined to explore all other possible options that can avert the planned total closure of a strategic national airport for six weeks.”
Speaking on the motion, Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, who seconded it, rejected the planned closure of the airport.
“Many countries have repaired airports without closure, and many lives have been lost on Kaduna road,” he said.
“There is need to repair the runway but I don’t agree with closure of the airport.”
Making his own contribution, Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi west, said the action would embarrass the country.
“This will embarrass us as a country; it will affect us economically, politically and socially our aviation intellectuals must think,” he said.
Many other senators spoke against the planned action, calling for a better option.
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