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Sirika: We Can Close Any Airport If The Need Arises

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has said the federal government can close any airport if they have a reason to.

Responding to questions at the Press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sirika said more airports will be inspected and be opened for operations.

He decried the talks of polarisation in the return to operations of airports, and said their decisions have not been sentimental but have been a result of necessity.

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 “We are at liberty of opening or closing airports whether there’s COVID-19 or not. Unfortunately, we are living in a country where everything is polarized and trivialized.

“We were asked to consider opening at least one airport in every geopolitical zone. We were asked to open Owerri and we did open it because we believed it was good to open, not for any other consideration. And now we are also being pressured to open Sokoto. It’s all about safety and when it’s safe to open it, we will.

“Having opened for domestic operations, I’ll like to say Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri, Port Harcourt International Airport, Maiduguri Airport and Uyo Airport are open and running. Some of them are so far apart, and for security reasons, we’ve decided to be careful.

On the inspection of other airports, he said; “Calabar is inspected, ready to use. Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi will be inspected on 17th of July on Friday. Benin, Akure, Ilorin and Ibadan are not ready for inspection until 20th July and this is according to the airport managers who are localized there. Makurdi is scheduled for inspection on Saturday, with Jos.”

“Bauchi, Gombe, Asaba Escravos are not FG-owned and we are waiting for them to tell us they are ready.”

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