Some members of House of Representatives have called for the resumption of international flights at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA.
DAILY NIGERIAN recalls that the international wing of the airport was shut down last year alongside Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
However, following the decline of cases of coronavirus in the state, the Nigerian Government had reopened the international wings of Abuja and Lagos, leaving Kano’s terminal still closed, a situation that generated outcry in the country.
But on a tour to the newly built international terminal in the MAKIA on Sunday, the House Leader, House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, member representing Tudunwada/ Doguwa constituency, assured that the wing would be reopened very soon.
Mr Ado-Doguwa, who led a delegation of members House of Representatives from Kano and Jigawa States to the tour, said they decided to move for reopening the terminal due to hardship the decision had inflicted on business communities in the state and its neighborhood.
He disclosed that due to their concern about the continued closure of the international terminal in the airport, the members of the House decided to meet the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on why it is being closed while those of Abuja and Lagos international airport are reopened.
“We met him to find out why is Kano international terminal still being closed. We are aware that the terminals were closed due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country. Now Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt international terminals have been reopened, why not Kano?
“If you look at the scenario, Lagos and Abuja have higher cases of the virus than Kano. We don’t even have the new variant in Kano, but why the continued closure of international wing of Kano airport?
“We are concerned about the collapse of businesses in Kano caused by the prolonged closure of the terminal. Many business people have incurred huge losses. Some of the businessmen had even lost their lives as a result of collapse of their businesses.
“See, we met with the minister and he gave us operational reasons and assured us that the terminal will be reopened very soon. We also reasoned with him because he cited concerns over COVID-19. But we will not rest on our oars until we make sure this wing is reopened because we are aware that it has adversely affected the business of our people,” he said.
Mr Doguwa stated that the visit was a follow-up to what the minister discussed with the delegation last week, expressing optimism that the level of work they had seen at the new terminal, they are confident that the international wing would be reopened very soon.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Federal Airport Authorities of Nigeria, FAAN, Rabiu Yadudu also assured that the terminal is about the be reopened.
He also expressed appreciation with the level of work at the yet-to-be-commissioned terminal, assuring that the building would be utilised efficiently.
He stressed that the terminal was closed due to the rise in the cases of COVID-19 and the federal government is concerned about the situation in Kano airport.
Mr Yadudu assured that the government is working assiduously to ensure the reopening of the terminal for business of the people to revive.
In his remark, the president, Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dalhatu Abubakar, expressed delight over the moves by the lawmakers to secure the reopening of the terminal.
“This shows that we have leaders. We therefore called on the federal government to bring more international airlines like Qatar, Ethiopian, Saudi Air, etc,” he added.