ISSUE: URGENT NEED TO INVESTIGATE THE ABANDONMENT OF THE REMODELLING OF PORT HARCOURT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
The House notes with great concern and dismay, the abandonment of work on the remodelling (or rehabilitation) of Port Harcourt International Airport.
Also Notes that the said Port Harcourt International Airport is of strategic commercial importance not only to the people of Rivers State, but also to other states in the South-South and South-East regions of the country, including Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Abia, and Imo states amongst others, and indeed Nigeria in general.
Notes also that the Federal Government under former President Goodluck Jonathan sometime in 2011 awarded contract for remodelling of some Airports across the country, including the Port Harcourt International Airport; however whilst remodelling work was ‘substantially’ completed at Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Sokoto, Yola, Ilorin, Enugu and Owerri Airports, for instance, that of Port Harcourt was abandoned and has till date remained ‘under rehabilitation’ at a slower than snail speed rate.
Aware that the Port Harcourt International Airport is at present in a very poor state; and no concrete work is on-going at the site; air passengers are received in tents, and even the departure halls which is claimed to have been completed is full of structural faults with noticeable cracks on the walls, suspended ceilings and leaking roof, yet the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) collects tolls and other very high charges for entry into and over-night parking at the Airport.
Also Aware that budgetary allocations have always been made for the modernization and re-modelling as well as Airports projects maintenance, yet the proper utilization of such funds falls short of expectations of teeming Nigerians.
Further aware that budgetary provisions were made since 2011, including the recently passed 2017 Federal budget, for maintenance and re-modelling of Airports.
Worried that social, economic and commercial activities in Rivers State and indeed the South-South and Southern Eastern parts of the country have been negatively affected as a result of the poor state of the Port Harcourt International Airport.
Greatly worried that unless urgent steps are taken to resume rehabilitation work on the said Airport, the primary aim for which the contract was awarded would be defeated and the social, economic and commercial life of the people would be negatively affected and the sum already budgeted and advanced for the project would filter away; while the number of Federal Government abandoned projects continue to increase.
Urge the Federal Government to urgently commence and complete rehabilitation work on the Port Harcourt International Airport.
Direct that the House Committees on Transport, Aviation, anti-corruption and Public Accounts investigate all monies released for the upgrading and maintenance of the Port Harcourt International Airport from 2011 to date, and the reason for abandonment of rehabilitation work at the Airport, with a view to ensuring that same is completed; and report back to the House within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.
Rep. Ogundu Kingsley Chinda, MHR