Niger Government is jostling for consideration as alternative International Airport as Federal Government plans to close down Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja for rehabilitation in February.
In a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, Niger is contending that Minna Airport would the best to consider on various counts including distance to Abuja and safety of users.
Specifically, Niger government in the statement argued that that Minna airport was the closest to Abuja.
Vatsa appealed to Federal Government to hasten work on the dualisation of Suleja–Minna road to serve as gateway to the Minna airport to be used as alternative.
According to the Commissioner, Niger Government is ready to assist Federal Government to make Minna airport as alternative for the period Abuja airport will be closed.
He said that Minna airport had the requisite facilities and manpower to serve as trusted alternative to the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, Abuja, adding that the state was also known as one of most peaceful in the country.
He added that conversion of Minna airport for the purpose would also reduce the suffering of travellers.
“In time like this, Minna airport should be used and in the most economic way, it should also be used as a cargo airport.
“Therefore, with the planned closure of Abuja airport for rehabilitation, it is wise economically to use Minna to serve Abuja.’’
“ The proximity of Minna to Abuja is one hour plus if the dualisation work on Minna-Suleja road is fast tracked and completed as planned by the Federal Government.
“As government, we, therefore, call on the authorities to look into this viable alternative,’’ he said.