By Dirisu Yakubu, ABUJA
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, yesterday said the ministry is desirous of seeing international flight operation s resume at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, noting that the continued suspension of international flights to and from the airport was denying the Ministry and its agencies huge amount of money.
The Minister said this when he received a high powered delegation from Kano State, led by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to Sirika, it does not make economic sense for the government to spend so much money, as it has done in the airport, and just decide to leave it inoperative with the attendant wear and tear 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, were for health and security purposes, informed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement signed by James Odaudu, Director Press and Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Aviation, said the minister acknowledged the hardship to the users of the airport, passengers and service providers alike, and promised to do his best to ensure the re-opening of the airport at the soonest possible time.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje in his remark told the Minister that he was in the Ministry to show appreciation to the federal government for the completion of the International wing of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, and also 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.