The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday disclosed that an aircraft belonging to Lufthansa had been grounded for the past three days at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
He said the aircraft got his landing gear damaged when it landed on bad runway of the airport scheduled to be shut down for six weeks in March for repairs.
Amaechi disclosed this at the Second Presidential Business Forum held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja and presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The minister was responding to the concerns raised by the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Frank Udenba-Jacobs, on the negative implications of the planned temporary closure of the airport.
He said there was no going back on the Federal Government’s decision to close the airport to allow reconstruction of the runway.
He reiterated government’s position that the runway built for 20 years had been in existence for 34 years, hence the need for the rebuilding.
He explained that the entire architecture of the runway from bottom to top has collapsed and it is no longer safe to use it.
The minister said. “We are not going back on the planned closure of Abuja airport.
“I understand that Lufthansa landed and damaged their gear and have been here for three days.
“The runaway was built to last for 20 years but it has been in use now for 34 years.
“We cannot do it only at night. We don’t want to loose anybody. We are not repairing but rebuilding. If anything happens, you will ask us to resign and we don’t want to resign.”