Business Hilights
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S’East Govs seek renewal of Enugu Airport as FG doles out $1.3bn for 5 projects

Just as the federal government has announced release of $1.3bn for the completion of several infrastructural projects in South South, South East, South West and parts of the North excluding the zone, the South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) rose from a meeting in Enugu with lamentations on the observable deplorable state of the runway, runway lights and tarmac at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

The federal government recently announced the setting aside $1.3bn (about N468bn) from the National Sovereign Investment Fund to finance five critical infrastructure projects including he Lagos-Ibadan Expressway construction, the second Niger bridge and the East-West road construction. The other two are the Abuja-Kano Expressway construction and the Mambilla power project.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Sunday when he appeared as guest on a Nigerian Television Authority programme, “Stepping Up”.

However, addressing journalists after the meeting at Enugu Government House, Dave Umahi, the chairman of the forum and Ebonyi State governor, said the forum appreciated the Federal Government for its intervention at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, but calls for more work that will truly make the facility what it is called.

Business Hilights recalls that the governors’ outcry is coming less than two week after the same governors decried the lopsided implementation of the ending 2017 national budget which they said, failed to have anything to show in the zone.
Though the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had chided the governors’ claims, saying not less than 65 projects were executed in the zone, observers are seeking the locations of the schemes.
Explaining more after the meeting in Enugu, Governor Umahi said the forum was, however, drawing the attention of the Federal Government to the deplorable state of the runway, the runway lights and tarmac and called on the minister of aviation to visit the airport for an on the spot assessment and urgent intervention.
According to him, the forum also requested that urgent steps be taken for the reactivation of the cargo section of the airport.
Umahi also disclosed that the forum received an interim report from the South East Consultative Committee on Health, set up to facilitate the establishment of world class health facilities in each state of the South East zone.
He said the forum noted the calibre of health and other professionals in the committee and commended them for the progress so far, while urging them to work towards ensuring the transformation of the zone into a medical tourist destination in Nigeria.
Other governors at the meeting were the host governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).
Umahi said the forum equally received presentation from the South East Region Development Fund (SENDEF), a financial arm of South East Region Development Commission (SEREDEC) and urged them to channel all development plans in the South East region through the secretariat of the forum.