President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N10 billion approval special intervention fund for the rehabilitation of key infrastructure at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
The approval was granted after a high powered delegation of South East governors and leaders made a formal request for the purpose during a meeting with the President held in the Villa, Abuja
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, gave the hint about the meeting while interacting with journalists before the delegation of had a closed door meeting with the President.
Umahi, who is also the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, said that the visit was primarily arranged to appeal to the President to approve special fund for the airport as its closure since August had grounded activities in the region and causing great hardship on the people.”
The Governor explained further that the team also sought for declaration of state of emergency on roads and erosion in the South East.
He said: “We talked about the disconnect due to deplorable condition of rods between states in the South East roads which has made lives of our people miserable and we have asked him to do something urgent about it.
“He directed the Minister of Works and Housing to brief us and he told us the intervention he is going to make.
“It’s not one-off we are going to put pressure to make sure that these roads are fixed. Already the Governors are doing their beat in making sure that some of the federal roads that are terribly bad are fixed at their own expense”, Umahi added.
Confirming the approval, the President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, confirmed that he was aware of the poor state of the airport and its importance to the socio-economic development of the South East.
He promised that that his administration was working on remedying the situation.
The President assured: “We’re trying our best to make sure that infrastructure rehabilitation is carried out very quickly. I personally firmly believe that if we get infrastructure correct, the roads , rail, power, most Nigerians will mind their businesses, they would not even care who is in government.
“But when you deny them infrastructure, it will be difficult for them to compete and move across the country and regions.” he said
While urging the governors to explain the financial position of the Federal Government and efforts it is making to fix decaying infrastructure nationwide to their people, President Buhari said that the central government was committed to upgrading the assets.
He said: “We are doing our best within the resources available to the government. The Federal Government is working to fix infrastructure deficit in the country. The challenges are there. It is our responsibility to fix things, we are doing it and we will continue to do our best in this regard.”