Asaba Airport not ready for the presidential jet
Large aircraft can still not land safely at Asaba Airport, despite the fact that Delta State awarded a N7.4 billion project to demolish the hills surrounding the runway. This means that the Nigerian president cannot use his BBJ (NAF 001) to visit the state this week. The hill demolition project has been criticised from various quarters:
“From the outset, that airport has been a problem in terms of funding…. It started with N12 billion to N17 billion to N24 billion. As I am talking to you now, over N40 billion has gone into that airport. (…) Now the issues that are there is that the viability of the airport is still under contention…. Talking about whether there are rocks or hills around the airport requires a lot of experts to determine. Flights have been coming and going out of the airport but the issue of hills disturbing flight did not come up until at a time the President is coming, that means the project is meant to satisfy the president. We are talking about N7.4 billion even when there are countries in the West African sub-region like Gambia, Sierra-Leone and Liberia that the GNP (Gross National Product) in a year within that range they are talking about. So, why should a state government earmark N7.4 billion to demolish a hill? Which hill and what is in that hill? You said you were at the airport, did you see any hill? I think that amount is outrageous.”
Asaba Airport still has to pass an airport safety certification process.
Update: clarification from the State Governor.