Port Harcourt Airport management laments non-completion of alternative road
The management of Port Harcourt International Airport on Wednesday expressed concern over security risks associated with the non-completion of the alternative road linking adjoining communities.
Mr Ojo Afolabi, the Regional Manager, South-South and South-East, Federal Airport Authority (FAAN), expressed the concern when he addressed newsman in Port Harcourt.
Afolabi, also the airport’s manager, appealed to the Rivers State Government to as a matter of urgency, complete the abandoned alternative road project to curb the airport’s infiltration by non-airport users.
He said the continued uncontrolled use of the main entrance of the airport by the public in a bid to access neighbouring communities was not only unacceptable but also a threat to smooth surveillance within the airport.
“The main entrance to Port Harcourt International Airport since inception has also been serving as access road to its host communities and this measure is not in line with the surveillance mechanism of an international airport.
“Although the past administrations made some efforts by starting the construction of the Igwuruta-eli and IPO road, which when completed would deliver an alternative road to host and neighbouring communities respectively.
“It’s disheartening that in spite of calls to support security by government at all levels, an international airport of this sort has yet to ascertain its porosity level in terms of security at entry points, we have written to the affected communities and government in this regard.
“Since government is a continuum, we appeal to the state government to give urgent attention to the completion of the abandoned School Road, Igwruta-eli and IPO road to further promote security within the airport,’’ he said.
Afolabi also applauded the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Nigeria Ltd (CCECC), handling construction of the ongoing International Wing of the airport.
He said that progress on the international wing was visibly encouraging, adding that according to the contractor, it will be delivered by December.
The regional manager appealed to the Federal Government to back its matching orders on the completion of the arrival terminal of the local wing with strict compliance.
According to him, the remodelling of the Port Harcourt International Airport, which started about a decade ago, was long-over-due.
“The Senate Committee on Aviation and the Minister of Aviation had at different times issued INTER BEAU the contractor handling the construction of the arrival wing some matching orders to deliver on the project by March and July 2018 respectively.
“Unfortunately, these orders have been flaunted due to the slow pace of job. I think it’s imperative for government to change this negative narrative as no individual or organisation is bigger than the government,’’ he said.
Afolabi urged the Federal Government to compel INTER BAU to speed up the job on the local arrival terminal to give the airport a face-lift, as CCECC had expressed its determination to inaugurate the International Wing by December.