Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi says that members of the state House of Assembly forfeited their three-year constituency project funds for the completion of the state’s new international airport.
Umahi made the disclosure during the test-run of flight operations at the airport christened Muhammadu Buhari international airport, at Onueke on Thursday.
The governor stated that the assembly led by its Speaker, Chief Francis Nwifuru, made tremendous sacrifices for the actualisation of the airport, which he said cost N36 billion.
“When we were seeking N10 billion to procure equipment for the airport, the speaker recalled the members who were on recess to approve the fund.
“The members did not only approve the fund, they also forfeited their three-years constituency project funds to ensure the project is completed,” he said.
He also expressed profound appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his ‘unquantified’ support towards the realisation of the airport.
“The president approved the sum of N10 billion for the construction of the domestic and international wings of the airport.
“When we were constrained on funds to procure equipment, he directed the ministry of finance to source funds for us even if it is a loan.
“The airport is named after Buhari as approved by the state house of assembly and if you say he is not good to you, he is to me and Ebonyi.
“We will continue loving him and before a fortnight, he will be in Ebonyi to inaugurate the project,” he said.
He noted that the government would prevail on the federal government to take over the airport which had presently created over 500 jobs and concession it.
“Government is a poor manager of resources but we are seriously interested in the revenue generated from the facility,” he said.
Mr Oladipo Adebayo, a Representative of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority called on Ebonyi people to ensure the maintenance and protection of the airport’s facilities because it has “opened them to the world”.
Chief Francis Nwifuru, Speaker of the state House of Assembly thanked God for the project and Umahi for his commitment towards actualising the project.
Nwifuru, who is the state’s Governor-elect said that the governor had put him under severe pressure due to the monumental projects that he would inherit and maintain.
Mr Collins Oti, a Representative of Air Peace airlines, which two aircraft landed at the airport, urged the state’s incoming administration to fully maximise the airport’s potentials.
Goodwill messages were delivered at the occasion by the immediate past state Governor, Chief Martin Elechi, representatives of the clergy, traditional institution among others.