Thursday , 30 June 2022
Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika

What has befallen N2bn approved by President Buhari for Wasanmi Airport upgrade?

A document signed in 2018 has revealed that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika back when he was Minister of state, Aviation sought for approval from President Muhammadu Buhari, and may have gotten the N2billion grant released for an airport project in Wasinmi.

The letter  with reference FMA/DSTP/402/S86/1/196 written to the President May 7, 2018 titled: Request of Payment for the sum of Two Billion Naira (N2, 000, 000, 000.00) only Capital Support Grant for Construction of Ogun State Airport at Wasimi, Abeokuta signed Senator Hadi Abubakar  Sirika to upgrade airstrip to a full fledge airport

According to the letter, the ministerial technical team on site selection considered Mosan- Wasinmi sixty (60) kilometers from the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos as location with aim to facilitate VIP movement, Border Control, Agro Pesticide Control and Medical Emergency Evacuation in a quest to enhance economic development in the state and complement the MMA

The letter went on to state in part that: “The sum of Two Billion Naira (N2, 000, 000, 000.00) has been appropriated in the 2017 Capital Appropriation of the Ministry to support the implementation of the project in earnest….

“It is in the light of the foregoing and the determination to support the upgrade of the Airstrip in Wasinmi, Abeokuta into a full-fledged airport that Mr. President is most humbly solicited to kindly consider and graciously approve release of the sum of Two Billion Naira (N2, 000, 000, 000.00) only which has been approved for the project in the Ministry’s 2017 capital budget in favour of Ogun State Government  as Capital Support Grant as earlier pledged to facilitate timely completion of the project…”

Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Shuaibu Nuhu on March 16, 2021 had told the Senate Committee on Aviation that the NCAA was not aware of the existence of a cargo airport in Wasinmi despite the insistence of Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah who read the memo from the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika on the federal government approval for a grant of N2billion for the Wasinmi airport.

The Senator representing Ogun West, Tolu Odebiyi, who incidentally was Chief of Staff to the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun had offered some clarification stating that the proposed airport in Wasinmi was a passenger’s airport, not cargo airport.

“The NCAA was part and parcel of the project and necessary approval was sought and given for Wasinmi. It was not possible to put the agency in the dark about the project.”

But the Senator representing Lagos West and Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Olamilekan Adeola, faulted the explanation offered by Senator Odebiyi, citing the documents presented to the Committee by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

“Yes, the Minister of Aviation is in the picture but the Senate Committee and NCAA aren’t aware, we don’t have the documents. We have listened to you (NCAA) and you have established that you have a record for Sagamu airport, not Passenger airport at Wasinmi,” Senator Adeola noted.

So the question is what has befallen the Wasami Airport in Abeokuta, has the N2billion funds been expended on the project and between 2017 till now why has it been under wraps only for the emergence of yet another airport in Sagamu, same Ogun State

A message seeking clarification from the Ministry on the reality on ground pertaining the funds is yet to be responded to.

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Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.

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