Buhari Approves N10bn Intervention Fund For Enugu Airport

President Buhari receives a presentation from Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi as he receives southeast Governors and leaders from the Zone in State House on Thursday, Oct 17, 2019.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N10billion as an intervention fund for the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

The President disclosed this in a tweet on his official handle @MBuhari

“I have approved the sum of N10billion for an Intervention fund for the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. I have the assurance of the Minister of Aviation that the work will be done speedily and to the highest standards.

“Even as we have many items competing for our limited resources, we will continue to prioritize infrastructure investments in every part of the country. It is our responsibility to ensure Nigeria’s infrastructure is fixed; we will keep doing this,” President Buhari tweeted.

The intervention fund approval follows an earlier meeting between the South-East leaders and with President Buhari at the State House Council Chambers in Abuja.

The leaders during the meeting called for special Federal Government intervention for the speedy completion of the Enugu International airport and rehabilitation of federal roads in the region.

Speaking on behalf of the leaders, Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum and Ebonyi Governor, Dave Umahi, urged the President to declare a state of emergency on roads in the South East.

“We are here to kindly urge Mr. President to approve special funds for the Akanu Ibiam Airport just like what was done for Abuja Airport,” he said.

Governors at the meeting include Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

Also, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senate Minority Leader representing southeast Caucus in National Assembly and Senator Sam Egwu were at the meeting.

Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim was also at the meeting. Former Governors from South-East region at the meeting include Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State; Okwesilieze of Enugu State; Sullivan Chime of Enugu State; Achike Udenwa of Imo State, and Ikedi Ohakim also of Imo

South-East Leaders Meet With Buhari, Seek Speedy Completion Of Enugu Airport

South-East leaders including governors on Thursday met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House Council Chambers in Abuja.

The leaders during the meeting called for special Federal Government intervention for the speedy completion of the Enugu International airport and rehabilitation of federal roads in the region.

Speaking on behalf of the leaders, Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum and Ebonyi Governor, Dave Umahi, urged the President to declare a state of emergency on roads in the South East.

He said, “We are here to kindly urge Mr. President to approve special funds for the Akanu Ibiam Airport just like what was done for Abuja Airport.”

READ ALSO: FG Will Do Everything To Look After Families Of Slain Officers, Says Buhari

Other Governors at the meeting include Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

Also, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senate Minority Leader representing southeast Caucus in National Assembly and Senator Sam Egwu were at the meeting.

Others include former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim; former Governors -Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State; Okwesilieze of Enugu State; Sullivan Chime of Enugu State; Achike Udenwa of Imo State, and Ikedi Ohakim also of Imo.

The meeting later entered into a closed-door session.

Also in the State House for a meeting with President Buhari are governors of the South-South region. They include Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and Ifeanyi Okowa.

South-East governors had earlier this week resolved to meet President Buhari to discuss the welfare of the region, rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam international airport, among other issues.

Chairman of the forum, Umahi disclosed this after a meeting by the governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, religious leaders and South-East National Assembly Caucus in Enugu.

The governors resolved to meet with President Buhari following fears that the closed Enugu airport could be abandoned.

Again, EFCC Discovers Over $2m At Airport

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has intercepted $2.8 million at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu State.

Acting Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr Tony Orilade, confirmed this in a statement on Friday.

He explained that the money was recovered from two persons suspected to be money launderers by the operatives of the EFCC Enugu Zonal Office on Thursday.

Orilade added that the suspects, Augustine and Ezekwe, said to be working for a company, were arrested based on intelligence report.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Lebanese With Over $2m At Abuja Airport

Upon their arrest, the suspects were caught with consignments of two suitcases, containing $1.4 million each, totalling $2.8 million.

The EFCC spokesperson said the two men were intercepted at the departure lounge of the airport while they about to board an evening flight to Lagos.

The statement read, “During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they have been in the business of conveying cash for ‘some notable banks’, for over six years.”

 

Suspects arrested by the EFCC for money laundering offences. Photo: Twitter – @officialEFCC

 

According to Orilade, the suspects confessed that they were in the process of doing same for a bank located at New Market, Onitsha in Anambra State, when they were caught.

He added that they were already giving useful information to operatives of the commission and would be charged to court soon.

The suspects said they had so far carried out such assignments “four times this year”.

The anti-graft agency recovered the money barely one month after it arrested a Lebanese, Abbas Lakis, for money laundering offence.

Lakis was picked up in November following intelligence report that he had on him undeclared huge sums of monies aboard an airline conveying him from the Kano Airport en route Lebanon.

Part of the currencies recovered from the suspect included $2,104,936, £163,740, and €144,680, among others.

Enugu Govt Inaugurates Committee On Airport Upgrade

Enugu Airport (file)

 

The Enugu State Government has inaugurated a committee on the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

The committee was inaugurated by the Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, on Wednesday in the state capital.

Mrs Ezeilo explained that the committee has a charge to tackle issues relating to the encroachment of land around the runway of the airport.

She said, “This all-encompassing committee will finally deal with the issues of the encroachment of land around the runway of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport and other related matters, and advise the government on all necessary steps to be taken to ensure full safety operations of the airport which includes the relocation of the mast to a new site.”

According to the deputy governor, the airport project will boost the state’s economic growth in the South-East geopolitical zone and beyond.

She also reiterated Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s commitment to the effective and efficient operation of the airport.

The committee is chaired by the Commissioner for Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), Mr Chidi Aroh.

Its members include the Commissioners for Lands and Urban Development, as well as Commerce and Industry.

Others include the Assistant General Manager of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA); as well as the General Manager of Land and Water Survey at the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) among others.

Anambra Tribunal Declares Senator Ekwunife Winner

EkwunifeSenator Uche Ekwunife, representing Anambra Central Senatorial zone, has been declared winner of the March 28 Senatorial Election by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra State.

Justice Naiyi Aganaba, who read the over 2-hour judgment held that the petitioners, Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and APGA failed to establish their case which they hinged on alleged mutilations and incorrect figures from which INEC declared Senator Ekwunife winner of the senatorial election.

The court also struck out the relief sought by Mr Umeh, urging the court to declare him winner on the grounds that he got the highest number of lawful votes cast.

Concluding the judgment, Justice Aganaba ruled that the petitioners failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt as to have the election nullified and insisted that it lacked merit.

Senator Uche Ekwunife, reacting to her victory, commended the judiciary for restoring hope, once again, to the common man and said that the judgment was a reflection of the wishes of the people.

Earlier, the tribunal had nullified the result of the PDP candidate for Anaocha/Dunukofia/Njikoka Federal Constituency, Prince Emeka Eze and declared the APGA candidate, Mr Dozie Nwankwo, winner of the House of Representatives election.

Jonathan Visits Enugu State For Commissioning Of Enugu Airport

President Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned the remodeled Akanu Ibiam airport in Enugu State, South East of Nigeria earlier today

Arriving at the Coal City at about 11:30am this morning, the President was accompanied by the Senate Chairman committee on Aviation; Hope Uzodinma, the Minister of Information Labaran Maku, Minister of Works and some other Ministers of the Federal republic of Nigeria.

And on hand to receive President Jonathan and the ministers were the Minister of Aviation Stella Odua, Minister of Labour, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekwerenmadu, all Senators from the South East states, all Governors of the South East States Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Host Governor of Enugu State, Deputy Speaker House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha and other Federal House of Representative members from the South East.

Reiterating Federal Government’s commitment in repositioning the aviation sector in the country in order to meet international standards enhance socio-economic development and also boost tourist activities in the country, the president disclosed that the construction and upgrade of a new terminal in all the 22 airports in the country is in response to the fast growing economy of the country which will in turn open up businesses, employment opportunities, as well as foreign investment not just for the south east but for the entire country.

He added that while completed, the Akanu Ibiam airport will be able to handle 500,000 passengers each year.

He said the remodelling of the commissioned Lagos, Abuja, Benin, Kano as well as the Enugu airport terminals is part of the transformation agenda of his administration in making sure that the air transport industry in the country becomes a hub of socio-economic development and home for foreign investors through its tourist activities.

President Jonathan formally unveiled the Akanu-Ibiam airport as an international airport when he visited the state in December 2011, giving assurance that the Federal Government was committed to upgrading infrastructure at the airport.

The remodelled Enugu airport, which was designated two years ago as an international airport, is part of the on-going rehabilitation and upgrading of airports across the country by the Minister of Aviation.

Nigeria Seeks N62Billion World Bank Fund To Tackle Erosion In South-East

President Goodluck Jonathan has revealed that the federal government is negotiating for a N62billion ($400million) special fund from the World Bank to tackle the menace of erosion in the South East.

President Jonathan made this known while speaking to a delegation of the South East Council of Traditional Rulers, who paid him a visit on Monday.

“We are getting $400million, a special fund from the World Bank, to tackle the erosion in the South East. This is apart from the line votes in the budget for checking erosion” he stated.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity; Dr Reuben Abati, stated that “President Jonathan expressed personal pain and sadness at the loss of lives and property due to the activities of Boko Haram, but assured the delegation that Government was working hard to bring the security challenges to an end, pointing to the police helicopters and equipment he commissioned earlier in the day as part of the Administration’s efforts to enhance the security agencies.”

Constitutional role for traditional rulers

The President said federal roads in the country were receiving necessary attention, while the Enugu Airport would handle international flights after its transformation.

Responding to a request for a constitutional role for traditional rulers in the country, President Jonathan said, “I believe in an advisory role for traditional rulers. This was one of my campaign promises, and I am consulting with the National Assembly on this.”

The President thanked the South East Council of Traditional Rulers and people of the zone for supporting him.

Earlier, the Obi of Obinugwu and Chairman of the South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Dr. Cletus Ilomuanya, said the people of the South East were worried about the slow pace of rehabilitation work on roads in the zone, threats to lives by erosion, and the activities of Boko Haram, and were pleading for the President’s intervention.

He also expressed concern at the killing of Igbos in parts of the country, and the need for a constitutional role for traditional rulers in the country.