The Federal government has said that the citing of a functional airstrip in Hadejia, in Jigawa state would help in combating insecurity in the country.
The minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated this when a delegation from the Emir of Hadejia, Alhaji Adamu Maje, led by a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, Senator Ibrahim Hassan, visited him on Thursday in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that the N4 billion Dutse international airport, which was established by the Jigawa state government in 2014, has been inactive.
Further investigation revealed that the airport was used once in a year for the airlifting of Muslim Pilgrims from the state to Saudi Arabia, for Hajj.
However, the minister said the federal government was ready to provide functional airstrips across the country in other to boost commercial activities and to combat insecurity.
Speaking specifically on Hadejia airstrip, Sirika said many reasons have pushed for the resuscitation of airstrips among which was historical purposes and to combat insecurity in the country.
“As we are facing security challenges, citing functional airstrip in Hadejia will help in combating insecurity as the airstrip can be used by the Nigerian Airforce, Police and of course civil aviation, ” he said.
He further added that Hadejia once doubled as a centre of learning, trade and commerce in Northern Nigeria.
The Minister said, “we are starting now by engaging aviation experts and consultants to come up with an assessment. In our plans, the airstrip is going to be managed in a such a way that there is a plan for future expansion in terms of landmass and commercial activities”.
Sirika in a statement by the Director, Public Affairs, James Odaudu, assured the delegation that everything would be done as soon as possible by the Ministry to actualize it and the Ministry would also find an appropriate way of funding the project.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Senator Ibrahim Hassan told the Minister that they were in his office to appreciate the Ministry’s effort towards resuscitating Hadejia airstrip.
According to him: “The Ministry had shown seriousness towards the rehabilitation of the airstrip by sending experts and consultants to conduct an assessment.”
He assured the Minister of the Hadeija Emirate’s support towards actualizing the project and commended him for the giant strides he had made in the aviation sector since his assumption of office as Minister of Aviation.