Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Abuja Airport Is Shutting Down?HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Abuja Airport Is Shutting Down?HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!

If you are a frequent traveller to Abuja or otherwise,you need to read this.



A few years ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria shut down the Port Harcourt International Airport to carry out what they called repairs or was it renovation? It was supposed to be an exercise for a few weeks, but it took more than an entire year. 



Flights were diverted to an airport in the city at great cost to travellers, but the so-called renovation took forever. The Port Harcourt airport became a grazing field for cows, at other times, a vehicle-driving field, and for more than one year, travel to Port Harcourt, one of Nigeria’s most strategic cities was a nightmare. 


Each time the Nigerian government talks about fixing the airports, using the words, renovation, rehabilitation or reform, it is better to be cynical. The Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri, for example, was once touted as a major hub in the South East, and government spent so much money turning it into an international cargo airport for the East, but that same airport soon became flooded during the rainy season and planes could no longer land.


Both the Port Harcourt and Owerri airports are currently in a permanent state of renovation. The lives of those who wanted to renovate them at any level whatsoever are ironically and scandalously, imaginably better renovated. The airports failed, the managers smiled to the banks. In those two airports, travellers were put through enormous strain because the entire airports or sections had to be shut down. But the people, expectant as they were had no choice in the matter. The Nigerian government is so powerful; the people are helpless. 


The same government the people elect with their votes punishes them unjustly.


 The people themselves behave as if they are in bondage. This was what happened in particular when the Port Harcourt Airport was being renovated. Travellers were abused. Airlines subjected them to enormous indignity. Businesses suffered. Government failed to keep its promise. The airlines and their staff even became arrogant, failing to realise they were victims too. They treated customers shabbily and there was no way anyone could blame them when government itself was uncaring.



Looked at differently, the biggest problem is not necessarily the politicians and their appointees who sashay in and out of power, but the civil servants who run the engine room of government and who over the years have perfected a culture of graft and incompetence. They look the other way when politicians dismantle the rules, often times out of sheer cruelty and for the better part, the political leaders are guided to do so by the civil servants. Which department of government is responsible for the maintenance of airports?: The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).



 I believe everybody in that agency should be lined up and caned publicly and investigated according to the law. Should they have any stories to tell about the poor state of Nigerian airports, despite the enormous amounts that are budgeted yearly, they should tell us as each stroke of the cane descends on their buttocks. I don’t consider corporal punishment a tool of governance, so I speak metaphorically, but the rot in the aviation section is so terrible, a feeling of outrage commands something extra-ordinary. Weigh that against the plane crashes, loss of lives, and the agony of air travel just because some incompetents have had to superintend over Nigeria’s aviation sector.



I am this outraged because a sad story is about to repeat itself. The Federal Government of Nigeria is proposing to shut down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, beginning March 8, for six weeks: to build a second runway and to carry out renovations. During the period, flights will be diverted to Kaduna Airport and passengers will be required to travel by rail or road to Abuja. The excuse is that the runway in Abuja is almost collapsing. The life span of a runway is 20 years and this particular runway in Abuja has been there for 34 years. Politicians come and go but one significant fellow has suddenly woken up in either the FAAN or the Ministry of Aviation and a proposal has been submitted for renovation. And that proposal is now causing so much commotion.


 All the characters responsible for this costly neglect and delay should be lined up and sanctioned, and that should include a thorough investigation into the possibility of this “new” project having being proposed, budgeted for and cash-backed before now. At what point did it occur to FAAN that the airport needs a second runway, and who is the brain behind the hair-brained proposal that is now before the public?


We have been told that for six weeks, flights will be diverted to the Kaduna airport. The Minister of State for Aviation (by the way, who is the Minister of Aviation?) has been quoted saying he wants “knowledge” as to how this can be managed. The Ministry has also summoned a meeting of stakeholders after taking the decision. This has been a classic case of acting before thinking, making it all appear ridiculous. The international airlines are insisting that they find this kind of thinking inconvenient. Truly so: Local airline operators are not excited either. The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) and the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) are protesting. 



Common sense, a scarce commodity at this time, should have dictated that a meeting of stakeholders should have been held before the decision was taken. But the arrogant position-holders took the decision first and then decided to invite the stakeholders as an after-thought. Ask these questions: is there an ulterior motive? Ignore common sense and present the public with a fait accompli?

 Is that their plan?

 Is politics, in the shape of further Northernization involved? 

And why?

 Make Kaduna a new hub?

 Shift aviation travel further North?


 The failure to maintain runways and observe best practises is a reflection of the Nigerian problem: our national nonsense. Besides, Nigeria is forever a victim of last minute decisions. We remember to think when it appears too late to do so. Conspiracy theories are thus enabled when those who should act rightly behave as if they are busy thinking with their orifices.



Get it: The decision to shut down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and move traffic to the Kaduna airport for six weeks has not been properly thought through. Poor thinking is the enemy of good governance. There is no guarantee to start with, that the renovation and rehabilitation can be completed in six weeks. Remember Port Harcourt and Owerri.


 We have been told nevertheless, that this is a good decision. But the timing is unwise. We are moving passengers to Kaduna at a time that same state and city is in turmoil. Thousands are being slaughtered daily in Southern Kaduna. The crisis has both religious and ethnic undertones. And now we are moving more Nigerians to the North, so they can get killed at the airport on or their way to Abuja? Who in his or her right senses would like to travel through Kaduna at this time?


A standard travel advisory should be: travel through Kaduna at your own risk and commit possible suicide. And to this: let no paid vuvuzela tell me the roads are safe and that the rail line to Abuja does not pass through Southern Kaduna. Also consider this: Government says it will provide buses. Who will bear the cost? Travelling from wherever to Kaduna to reach Abuja is likely to be more costly in every sense. Will the airlines bear the cost? Or the already aggrieved travellers will be subjected to extra cost and pain? Foreign airliners have already rejected the Kaduna airport. It is by every international standard a poor airport. It can’t even accommodate a crowd. Why would government subject travellers to obvious chaos and behave as if it does not matter. 


Copy this:

“The Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, however, said total closure of the Abuja airport runway was inevitable, judging from the worrisome level of dilapidation…. (I see)


The minister assured of adequate security of travellers on transit by road from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa, adding that the Ministry of Defence, the Nigeria Police, National Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Directorate of State Security and other agencies will provide cover for airlines and passengers. (Really?)



“We’ll increase the number of security personnel around Kaduna Metropolis; we’ll have traffic officials in every village and intersection. There’ll be members of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), fire fighters and ambulances at certain strategic positions. Police and the Air Force are to provide aerial patrols, complemented by ground police.(Bribery and extortion loading…)



There will be intelligence gathering. There will be bus coaches, train services, specialised car hire services and helicopter shuttles from private operators. But government will provide shuttles for passengers,” he assured. (Talk is cheap, truly)



This is precisely why the Ministry of Aviation should reconsider its stand. Stakeholders including foreign airlines should be carried along before any further step is taken and that has to be in line with international best practices. Everybody involved should admit that we are dealing with a Nigerian crisis. Nigerians who travel by air don’t deserve to be punished. They have suffered enough already. The airlines can’t even get enough aviation fuel in Abuja, not to talk of Kaduna.



Let no one forget this: Abuja is a strategic city. Those who travel there do so with a purpose. It is the city of adventurers not settlers. It is the city of the Federal Government. People go there to sort out government matters including contracts and other matters. Shutting down the Abuja airport is like shutting down the city, and perhaps the entire country. The Ministry of Aviation makes it sound as if this is inevitable, but we must tell them, and tell them again, that the Kaduna airport is not ready and to repeat the Port Harcourt experience in Abuja would be sad and counter-productive. It is not for nothing that the international airlines are already protesting that they don’t want to go to Kaduna.


 The argument about fixing the runway to make it safer is okay, and we all know why nothing is ever properly maintained in this country, and why projects of six weeks end up taking one year, and more, so don’t tell me the obvious, but government decisions no matter how well-meaning, should be governed by good thinking. A mismanaged renovation of the Abuja airport could result in months of avoidable agony and disaster for the Nigerian economy.

BY REUBEN ABATI



*I really don't understand,is there no other airport apart from the Kaduna Airport that can take the spotlight for the reported six weeks?

Please if you scrolled to the end without reading,don't bother dropping your usual this is too long to read comment....Your attitude to reading informative write ups is the reason Nigeria is failing,because we have people who no longer read and there have no intelligent input in ongoing brouhaha and National development issues.

Thinking about Kaduna is very worrying.



59 comments:

Single Mom said...

Morning fam.

Gladys Chinyere said...

E no concern me in.. the young shall grow is still in existence

patt ogar said...

Bad

Anonymous said...

Too long to read

Doppelgänger said...

I support the Abuja airport closure. Kaduna airport is not bad at least the runway is perfectly okay they'd just need to make it more conducive enough to accommodate more people expecially those who will be waiting to board a flight.
The Abuja airport runway needs to be fixed ASAP.
Maybe this will make the president do something about the southern Kaduna killings because the man has been quiet and people are dying everyday.
If you can't go to Kaduna ehn enter bus to Lagos and board your flight to where ever. Kaduna to Abuja is just 2 hours by road or less if you take the new Bwari road. Gosh now I miss driving that route.
let's not wait till a major accident happens before we take action.

Pffft said...

I actually read to the end, but when I saw the name Reuben Abati,for some reason my brain shut down.

We shall be well.

Teddy said...

Stella this is actually quite disturbing because Kaduna airport is not big, they don't have the right equipments, the last time I was there half of the lights in the airport were not working. They are not thinking straight.
Secondly, abuja-kaduna express way is the new kidnappers zone. These kidnappers don't even target particular people, they kidpnap anybody and ask for ransom. If it can't be met they kill the individual.
The crises nko? I witnessed 3 sharia crises in Kaduna before moving. Stella it is really a suicide mission sending innocent people to Kaduna. When crises begin like this, Kaduna is not safe.
This is coming from someone born in Kaduna. I love that city but they are slowly killing the once beautiful city.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. this I must say isnt a good development at all, this is like trying to play politics with innocent people's life.. Hiw on earth is kaduna suppose to take control of international travels while the airport in Abuja is under construction.. I am so scared of this development, scared of peoples life wasting away, scared of moving the airport to the north permanently, scared of our politicians not caring about people at all and our feelings and the trouble their decision brings along.. I was a supporter of buhari's administration but God spare our lives, come 2019 I am voting against him. We need an able president, we need a smart and thoughtful nd calculative human being. Though governing isnt easy but no ome begged him to take up the seat.. God help Nigeria and her people..

Anonymous said...

Kaduna is the state with a sub standard airport to accommodate for now. Minna which is closer is a Capital NO because the airport is nonfunctional, do they even have airport? People screaming kaduna is not safe! Have ya ever been there? The government will not take chances on this one because it involves major international airlines, as for Reuben ! Take several seats, if it was GEJ on seat we no go hear your Vou. All u politicians are the same

Roseberry said...

Why must we always think everything d government does is an attempt to ''Northernise'' Nigeria? What is wrong with Kaduna? Oh!Nothing good should come out of the North? Maybe another airport should be built in Lagos so u don't have to follow Kaduna when going to Lagos from Abuja... Rubbish

becky naka said...

Wow, I love this, Reuben said it all. Fed. Govt. Should have a rethink, we don't want more chaos.

Chidinma Grace said...

If d govt wants to build a second runway, they should do so but why shut down d whole airport bc of a second runway. The one in use can still serve b4 they finish building d second one, or is it now too bad? Why did they wait till it's too bad to do something abt it? So many questions to ask from this write up bc this Nigeria now is a nightmare for many already. They should find a way to handle dis without putting d lives of people in danger by transferring them to Kaduna.

LOLO IDEATO said...

So scared to travel to Abuja by road. The thought of that journey alone is a turn off.

May God protect us o

Anonymous said...

Are you indirectly shading PDP? cos all those nonsense happened during their time. This time a new sheriff is in town and will not take nonsense esp. Anything that has to do with income generation. Aboki will deliver.

Doppelgänger said...

I don't know this one o but I lived in Kaduna for 10 years till last year. I drive alone from KD to Abuja and back. I have never been robbed and I'm not saying it doesn't happen but sometimes these things are necessary to prevent a greater disaster from happening.
Let the airport be closed so they can do what needs to be done since its the only way.
I currently have family living in Kaduna and yes there are times when things are rough but God has been faithful.
Don't forget that the government has promised to provide adequate security to assure people during this time, so let's give them benefits of the doubt.
Also, this will favour Kaduna in a way because it will bring about development of the airport and probably more houses will spring up around that airport area instead of those bushes that lead all the way to the airport.

ebunlola omoraiyewa said...

Why do people sound like Kaduna is a death trap? Geez.My family lives there. People who have never even been there talk down on it so much. Haba

Anonymous said...

Where is FFK.. this write up is for you. Always running your mouth when you messed up as aviation minister.you are one of the rot.

Heritage said...

This has nothing to do with politics, I am not in support of the kaduna airport for innocent travelers because as long as the northern killings is concern the president will never do anything and the life of most of this travelers are at risk. The town is not safe.

Anonymous said...

And who told you where the killings are taking place is close to the airport. In fact, it's like travelling to another state. Kaduna is safe . It's just that people are sad and angry with elrufai.

I-cee Rachel said...

Since they plan to construct another runway and renovate the current one in 6 weeks, why not start construction of the new runway and section off that part of d airport. When they are done with the new runway, they move airplanes to land there and start the renovation of the old runway. The aviation industry is already in shambles and the airlines are suffering as most of them can't even pay their staff. Pushing air travel to Kaduna will cost them more, cos I had rather take a bus to Abuja than go through Kaduna and end up travelling for over 3hrs on that bad road to Abuja.

Anonymous said...

Youngman senior Brother, well done o! On a serious note stella kaduna airport is a No No! D airport is very small, de don't hv d neccesary equipments to serve a massive crowd, dia staffs in d airport are very very inefficient and rude!besides do u knw dat it wld tk u 2hours to get to kaduna by a fast car o, meanwhile am suppose to go tru kaduna in 2hours to get to lagos dat by plane wld hv taken me jst 45minutes! Pls hw does dis make sense? I just tire for dis one chance govt wey we enter!smh!

Anonymous said...

Reuben this your write up is dumb. My god! Before you write crap like this u need to visit or have an idea about a place first. You are giving this south and west people who have never been in the north or Kaduna a wrong impression. Cos most of them hust insult and insult without knowing the full state of things.

🔫 😎Sterling Archer 😎💲 said...

The one in enugu should be considered as that of kd isn't worth it at this trying times.

Davincci said...

Stella u are so on point here. It is very alarming d amount this generation that cannot settle down to read informative piece. This d sole reason our generation is failing and our grandfathers are still ruling. Anything outside sex, fornication, immorality, entertainment and celebrity gossips u hv to count out dis generation. Pathetic!!!!

Anonymous said...

The only problem I have is the bye pass road....that is the easiest way to follow from airport to abuja. Following town is like going 360degrees.bthe byepass road is condem..your shocks will just die their. Pregnant women should avoid that road.if not Na miscarriage. I don talk my own.

LUCILE COCONUT OIL ABUJA 07059605320 Pin- 2BC6235E said...

Nonsense,kaduna bawo?road ti take over

Your secret admirer 💙💙💙 said...

Sweetie, no one's saying that of kd is bad. The issue is how to convey passengers to abj esp via rail. They'll have to pass thru that endangered southern Kaduna area

lovetoloveu said...

Connecting flight from Lagos. Abeg l can't shout

LUCILE COCONUT OIL ABUJA 07059605320 Pin- 2BC6235E said...

Nonsense,kaduna bawo?road ti take over

peace maker said...

All the big men complaining are just afraid of going from Kaduna to Abuja by road.They should all feel what ordinary Nigerians are passing through everyday.
Maybe something can finally be done about insecurity and bad roads.

Anonymous said...

Stella abeg focus on German airports and free us. The reason Abuja won't be abandoned like port Harcourt is because Abuja is a capital city. 80% of Nigerian politicians reside in Abuja. They won't let it pass March. So the wrter should go sleep

peace maker said...

Informative write ups they won't read.But if it's a story about man and woman or prik and Toto that is twice this long,they will patiently read till d end and even twice or more

maryam sadisu said...

Yesterday I went to talata market (Tuesday) market day in Kawo kd , I saw a lot of Christian men and women marketing their wares name them ,Igbo , gwari southern Kaduna women everyone was minding his or her own business it was so peaceful, I don't know y people are being mislead by the media.

Anonymous said...

Haven't you heard of the numerous kidnapping along Kaduna- Abuja road? Not to mention the robbery that goes on daily on that route. Abeg oh, these aboki Pple want to finally finish Nigeria. My cousins are coming to Nigeria for the first time in months to come and these madness is about to happen. Jesus.... this one there no go come house lailai again (LOL)
#AngryBenueGirl

SANDY NEKY said...

Supported!!! They dont have to wait till a major mishap takes place there. People have been complaining about the bad condition of the abj runway recently so why the complaints*confused* World people mehn! Gosh

SANDY NEKY said...

😂😃😆😅

Inimitable said...

What will remain of nigeria when we get to 2019 to make another mistake to elect another idiot into power? When are we going to see the writing on the wall that our presido is on a mission and it's to take us all down! How can they choose kaduna that currently needs a state of emergency due to the killings and don't get me started on the highway robberies and kidnapping along abuja-kaduna expressway. Which way Nigeria?!

nkiru Iwuchukwu said...

Stella I traveled out this year through Abuja international airport last year Oct I tell you Stella the plane a Boeing 797 was practically galloping on the ground before take off everyone on the plane was bouncing not funny o! But when we landed in Rome it was so smooth on the ground so the difference was obvious. Abuja international airport needs total overhauling and new runways but they should be fast about it. The repairs should worth the wait so the aviation ministry should know better o! They should put on their thinking caps and work their butts off and be fast about it my own two cents

sweetness said...

Don't mind him..if na gej he won't talk..

Kim Kardashian Aka portable queen of sdk blog said...

This will destabilize a lot of things.
Kaduna is not an option.

Kim Kardashian Aka portable queen of sdk blog said...

Lmao

Bianca BRUNO said...

Kaduna is the closest airport to Abuja so that's why the diversion is being made there. ..We should just see it as a necessary evil..They have to renovate the airport if it's falling apart right?

Bianca BRUNO said...

Abi oh I just tire for the northernise Nigeria gist..If the airport is bad they should continue using it so that accidents will happen abi

Etsako Girl said...

Let us all focus on the message been passed amd not the messager and process the questions he raised. We all can agree tha renovations are necessary and Abuja airport needs one but as Reuben said, 5 weeks can most probably turn into a year. Nigerians are not known to keep to rules and time. Let's hope it doesn't turn into another PH or Owerri cos I recall how those airports turned out after the so called renovation. Also, airlines landing in Kaduna and shuffling passengers to Abuja really calls for worry cos who bears the cost of the fare really for these passengers? The Kaduna airstrip might not be able to handle the amount of planes that fly in and out of Abuja; this is going to make international flights less available and more expensive for it's customers like it is not expensive enough. Hmmmm it is well.

Tuscany @onimisibespoke said...

Thanks you.
You are well informed

Nerd Fashionista said...

Why is it that Dubai airport is never closed for repairs, but it is one of the best airports in the world. Nigerian politicians keep deceiving yourselves. We the masses see you.

Teddy said...

I-Cee Rachel my thoughts exactly. Since you want to build a new one. Why not start now then when its done you divert.

Teddy said...

They are not closing the private jet side o,you know they changed the local terminal strictly for private jets, just the one for ordinary Nigerians so they will still not feel it.

Lilly simple said...

@ Bianca
Have u been to Kaduna to know that KD is d closest airport?

Please don't forget Minna is there
Besides Minna is more secured than dat KD, with all the Military Schools in that State ( kD) is still never peaceful

Why didn't they give airlines 2 choice? Land in Minna or KD
A Lot of Pax will prefer Minna I bet u

Lilly simple said...

If u say Minna runway is smaller than KD's own i'll agree with u

Cyndilicious said...

Lol stella were u referring to me..cos I dnt read it..no strength abeg😂😃

Anonymous said...

The thing tire me. The problem is most most who comment on these Linda and Stella blog are igbos,n deltans. So they tend to make it look like is the whole country that is against northerners. They insult Yoruba and Hausa's any how. You won't blame them. most of them don't have home training and don't know their root. They just find themselves in Lagos and are full of hate.

Anonymous said...

Thank you peace maker. You got it. They will use the media and people now to make it look like it's hell. Stupid people.

Anonymous said...

People in a serious country do it this way https://youtu.be/ibyz-FWAnbg

AdeEsther (Do you work and live in Abuja, Lagos, ph $ ibadan? do you need a quick loan upto 2.5m without collateral?call/whatsapp 07037873466 said...

My dear I tell you.. God is good will take over. I can't stress myself to kaduna

Wild Rose said...

@I-cee Racheal... You should know by now it is all lies.
It is people who are buoyant that will be bothered. As for me, from lag take train enter KD and then take another train back to abj. I won't spend more than 15k for 1st class cabin. It might take days but it is safer

Anonymous said...

@anonymous12:02, is Abati an igbo or delta Man? Olodo like you. Your hatred for ndi igbo will choke you one day

Anonymous said...

all i can deduce from this writeup is El-Rufai controlling things/Buhari from behind the scene. why didnt they move it to kano or maidugri, both have larger airports than kaduna. El-rufai wanting to be president since like forever.

Anonymous said...

When one reads this write up from Reuben Abati, who was in government for 4 years, and then the responses of fellow Nigerians agreeing with him out of hated or ignorance, one can't help but agree that NIgerian education is not enlightening the human brain.

Reuben is now using the failure of the govt he was part of to determine that the current one will not succeed, how smart! The govt he was part of closed the PH airport for renovations for how long but didn't deliver anything. Should I remind him of how he blocked me on Twitter during the elections when he shared pix of that shop he refers to as the renovated PH airport?

For how long during the govt he was part of, did they try to refurbish the Abuja runway to no success? What of the Abuja 2nd runway? The same govt he was a part of, took the cost from N6B to 12B and the public was so outraged that the project never saw the light of day. So Nigerians, know that if not for the greed of the previous administration, the 2nd runway would have been built and the airport wouldn't have needed to be closed to repair one runway.

This write up is from a failed mouthpiece of a failed administration trying to hold us down.

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