President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the efforts of the Ministries of Transport, Power, Works and Housing, the security agencies, Kaduna State Government, the contractor, Julius Berger, and others, on the successful completion of work on the runway and reopening of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, 24 hours ahead of schedule.
In a statement by his special adviser media, Femi Adesina, the President said that he looked forward to such display of inter-agency cooperation and efficiency in the operation of the entire Federal Government machinery.
Adesina said President Buhari also thanked Ethiopian Airlines for cooperating with the Nigerian Government during the period of the closure of Abuja airport, describing it as a good example of intra-African cooperation.
Meanwhile, an aircraft belonging to Ethiopian Airlines has landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport in Abuja.
The aircraft touched down some minutes past 12pm on Tuesday.
Firiehiwot Mekonnen, traffic and sales manager of the airline, said the decision to fly the new aircraft to Abuja was because of the belief in the Nigerian market.
Ethiopian Airlines was the only foreign airline that made use of the Kaduna airport during the period that flights were diverted from Abuja.
The Abuja airport was closed on March 8 to enable repairs on its runway.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirka, joined a test flight from the Kaduna international airport.
Speaking with reporters at the Abuja airport, Sirika expressed delight that the facility got ready before the deadline
“Runway friction test, the final activity, concluded. Just landed on the runway, everything is perfect. We beat the deadline. We thank you,” he tweeted.
“Abuja runway 100% completed and certified by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. Consequently the airport is open for operations. Thank u.”