Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has reiterated the desire of the ministry to reopen the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, for international flight operations, insisting that the ministry and its agencies were suffering serious revenue losses from the continued suspension.
The Minister said this on Tuesday when he received a high-powered delegation from Kano State, led by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in his office.
Sirika, in a statement by the Director, Public Affairs, James Odaudu said it does not make economic sense for government to spend so much money, as it has done on the airport, and then decide to leave it inoperative.
He stated that the development was with attendant degeneration of infrastructure, redundancy amongst operational staff, revenue losses, hardship to travellers, amongst others.
He, however, told the delegation that included some members of the Kano State House of Assembly, representatives of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and members of the Kano Chamber of Commerce, that the decision to suspend international flights to and from the airport, like the ones in Enugu and Port Harcourt, was for health and security reasons.
The Minister acknowledged the hardship to the users of the airport, passengers and service providers alike, and promised that all that was necessary for the resumption of international flight operations at the airport would be fast-tracked to ensure that it resumes sooner than later.
Sirika, nonetheless, challenged Kano indigenes to engage in activities that will make the airport more viable through increased passenger traffic.
Kano State Governor, Ganduje, had told the Minister that he was in the Ministry for two reasons: first to show appreciation to the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari for the completion of the International wing of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, and secondly to appeal for the resumption of international flight operations at the airport.
The governor expressed great concern over the effect of the continued suspension of international flights to and from the airport by passengers and service providers.
According to him, the Kano State government has put in place all that was necessary to make the state healthy for flights, including mobilization of the populace for the COVID-19 vaccinations.