Aviation minister, please reopen Kano international airport
“One of the swiftest ways of destroying a kingdom is to give preference of one particular tribe over another or show favor to one group of people rather than another. And to draw near those who should be kept away and keep away those who should be drawn near” Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio.
Sir: Minister of Aviation, I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Kano peoples. The continuous closure of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), is adversely affecting the economy and livelihood of the people of the states.
Data shows that number of passengers’ movements into the MAKIA, according to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s Aviation from 2015 to date has greatly declined. The
airport has suffered undue abandoning since OBJ’s administration; or is it intentionally grounded?
The importance of this airport cannot be over emphasized, as the Kano International Airport is the oldest in Nigeria; and the first aircraft landed in Nigeria through Kano. Afterwards, it has become an important fuel stop for airlines flying long-haul services between Europe and Africa.
Recently, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje made the request before Federal Government and your office to open and make it fully operational, and that the non-commissioning of the international wing does not augur well for the state. Kano may be your state but people of Kano never anticipated that under our own brother the international wing would perpetually remain closed.
In view of the wakeup call from Kano State Government and other stakeholders on the airport’s seeming abandonment, you the minister need to reactivate the airport like its contemporaries in other parts of Nigeria which have resumed operations after the COVID-19 lockdown.
The goodwill that the people of Kano accorded the administration you are serving is not compatible with the reward we are getting. We never expected the airport’s closure on each passing day that it remains in the shadow of its past, lost glory. The general perception is that the administration is working toward nailing the final stage of confining the airport to mere domestic status.
In spite of the renovations that the airport’s international wing has lately undergone, it has not been commissioned. With the present administration in power, justice demands that MAKIA be restored to its international status to enable many international airlines to continue serving the airport.
Suspending services to the airport Indefinitely brings extra cost of air travel to international travellers from the state and its adjoining states who now have to transport themselves to states with international airports first, as a result of the closure of the airport to foreign airlines. There is therefore an urgent need for Federal Government to reconsider the re-opening of the airport, in view of its attendant cost on Ease of Doing Business in the state.
Abba Dukawa writes from Kano.
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