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2 divergent delivery work rate worry stakeholders on Abuja airport runway

Less than one week after the Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Serika told Nigerians that rehabilitation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, runway was 57.5 per cent completed, the Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma has presented another delivery readiness percentage to the visiting Vice president.

FAAN boss while conducting the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, on an inspection of the project on Friday, said rehabilitation of the runway was 80 per cent completed.

Observers are therefore worried on within how many days did the contractor cover the gap between 57.5% and 80% which is 22.5%.

According to a Lagos based Civil Engineer, Mr. James Oghenetega, “Percentage delivery in civil engineering works can only come from a certified site engineer in charge of the particular job and not even the owner or the giver of the job”.

“In the issue of Abuja runway rehabilitation, I think it is only the site manager in Julius Berger that can give Nigerians the true delivery percentage of the job and not any government official.

“In civil works, there is no way it will take up to four weeks to cover 57.5% and take just less than one week to cover 22.5% in the same job. Definitely somebody is playing with the truth here.

He argued further that “While the way delivery readiness percentage is flying up and down, the job may not be completely ready on April 19 for use, but the handling firm may wish to rush more critical areas so that flights can be landing and taking off at least from April 18, while other less critical works will continue”.

Dunoma had told Osinbajo that the critical parts of the work, including asphalt-laying, airfield lighting installation and marking of the runway, were progressing.

He said that so far laying of glass grid had been 100 per cent completed, while asphalting was at 73 per cent and installation of lights at 40 per cent completion.

FAAN assured Osinabjo that the marking of the runway would commence on Monday (today).

Dunoma was quick to submit that “The overall completion is 80 per cent as of today and the critical elements of the work that we have which are asphalt-laying and airfield lighting installation are 73 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, completed’.

“The next critical part, of course, is marking which will start on Monday. At the end of the day, the regulator will have to come and certify it; then, we will be ready for reopening on April 19,” he said.

Continuing, Dunoma said “We are seizing this opportunity of empty building to make sure that we rehabilitate the entire terminal building and that includes the facilities that are there such as mechanical, electrical and civil.

“We will get it done before the 19th and all the works there will be completed before that day.

According to him, “April 19 remains sacrosanct and we want to reassure Nigerians that come April 19, the airport will be opened”.