“We are committed. This is my 10th visit, and there are people here daily, monitoring and supervising the project.”
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says it has achieved 90 per cent completion on the ongoing repair of the 18L/36R runway at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.
FAAN’s managing director Rabiu Yadudu disclosed this during an inspection tour of the runway in Lagos on Thursday.
FAAN, on July 7, closed the MMIA runway for 90 days to install Airfield Lighting (AFL). The agency said it would also install the approach lights and runway lights (threshold, centerline, edge lights) for runway 18L/ 36R to return to 24/7 operations.
Mr Yadudu told journalists that FAAN intended to meet its 90 days deadline but would delay and do a thorough job if it had to. He explained that apart from the MMIA, FAAN was upgrading all the airports in the country under its purview.
“So far, I think we have done about 90 per cent, and we are on schedule; and remember, we are very optimistic, but if anything would make it to be delayed, I would boldly make it delayed. I would rather have a good job concluded safely. Aviation is not about quick fixes. It is about long-term fixes,” the FAAN boss noted. “For 12 years, this is not working, but now you are getting it in a few hours. What is the problem?”
He added, “The bottom line is our target up to this moment, but anything that will hinder and we are sure has to do with the safety, we will not hesitate that is our primary responsibility, but so far there is none. And we are committed. This is my 10th visit, and there are people here daily, monitoring and supervising the project.”
Speaking on Taxiway Bravo, Mr Yadudu said the project had been stalled due to inflation affecting procurement costs, especially of bitumen and that it had been at about 95 per cent for the past five months.
“Suddenly, we have inflation, and the contractor is complaining, but he is working with FAAN and the (aviation) ministry to see how we can find a solution to the problem. This inflation issue suddenly increased the cost of bitumen and asphalt, and we are trying to resolve it quietly, so he also ends up doing a good job,” Mr Yadudu explained.