NIGERIA’S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SHUTS DOWN
Nigeria’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the capital Abuja has been temporarily closed down due to its chronic state of disrepair.
Travellers and Nigerians braced themselves for major disruptions, which will last for up to six weeks, as the Nigerian authorities began fixing a runway filled with cracks and holes, explaining that the repair work could not be done unless the entire airport was closed down, the Voice of America (VOA) reported on Tuesday.
Last month the bad condition of the runway caused South African Airways to cancel flights to Abuja as the alternative route offered by the Nigerians meant travellers landing at the smaller Kaduna domestic airport, a three-hour long bus journey from Abuja on roads infamous for bandits and kidnappers.
However, now with the complete closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe travellers have no choice but to use Kaduna airport with the Nigerian authorities promising to station police and soldiers along the road.
Nevertheless, several international airlines have already stated they will not fly into Kaduna.
Hundreds of airport workers, including baggage handlers and cab drivers, vendors, and others employed in providing services to air travellers, are also being affected by the airport closure by losing more than a month’s income.
Travellers have long complained about the bad conditions at Nnamdi Azikiwe, including long queues, the shabby terminal and poor services offered.