Min­is­ter rules out sab­o­tage in Kaduna air­port fire

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Sun­day Isuwa, Kaduna, with agency re­port

Su­per­vis­ing Min­is­ter of Avi­a­tion, Mr Sa­muel Or­tom, yes­ter­day ruled out sab­o­tage in the fire in­ci­dent that gut­ted the con­trol tower of Kaduna In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Satur­day.

Or­tom, who is also the Min­is­ter of State Trade and In­vest­ment, dur­ing a visit to the air­port, said the min­istry setup a tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee to un­ravel the re­mote cause of the fire and that their find­ings showed that there was no sab­o­tage.

“I want to rule out the is­sue of sab­o­tage, it is purely a tech­ni­cal prob­lem that led to the fire and we will en­sure that it does not hap­pen again. My tech­ni­cal team is com­pe­tent and car­ry­ing out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to find out what led to the fire that en­gulfed the con­trol tower, and un­til a re­port is given to us we can’t say what caused it. I am happy no life was lost in the fire on Satur­day,’’ he said.

The min­is­ter said nor­mal op­er­a­tions have since re­sumed, adding that planes have started land­ing at the air­port.

“The tech­ni­cal team was able to re­store op­er­a­tions; they were also able to use a mo­bile tower to con­trol the sys­tem. In ad­di­tion, Nigeria Airspace Man­age­ment Agency (NAMA) was able to bring a mo­bile tower on standby. The good thing is that op­er­a­tions have re­sumed,’’ he said.

The min­is­ter said the on­go­ing ren­o­va­tion of the air­port was part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s road map to trans­form the avi­a­tion sec­tor.

“Twenty two air­ports are be­ing re­mod­elled, five have been com­pleted and the rest are un­der­go­ing work,’’ he said.

He said the ini­tial is­sues the govern­ment had with the con­trac­tor had been re­solved, adding that ad­e­quate pro­vi­sions have been made in the 2014 budget to en­sure its com­ple­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to him, five new ter­mi­nals are be­ing con­structed in Kano, Port Har­court, Abuja, Enugu and La­gos, which will be com­pleted in 2015.

“We want to as­sure Nige­ri­ans es­pe­cially pas­sen­gers us­ing this ter­mi­nal that the air­port is safe,’’ he said.

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