The Senate has approved the rehabilitation of eight airstrips across the country in the 2022 national budget.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, stated this in an interview with journalists on Friday.
Adeyemi said the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved the proposal when he defended his panel’s budget report before it.
He said aspiring to build multi-billion dollar airports was no longer fashionable because many of the existing ones could not boast of 100,000 passengers annually.
He said the nation required just about N1bn or N2bn to construct an airstrip.
He said, “The COVID-19 has made it imperative to start thinking of accelerating the economic development of the country.
“That is why the airstrips must be rehabilitated. We only need N1bn or N2bn to construct an airstrip.
“In many nations of the world that I’ve visited, an airstrip is a landing facility. Whether an airport is having a terminal of N10bn or N20bn does not matter.
“What matters is that it must have a good landing facility. If we have a good runway for an airstrip, it may not be able to accommodate a Boeing series but it could accommodate a shuttle flight of 50 passengers; it is okay.
“We need to open up the country by opening up airstrips. Some of them were constructed some 50 years ago.”
He listed the sites of the airstrips as
Irrhua (Edo) and
Mubi (Adamawa) airstrips.
“The Uli-Okija airstrip is good because it will open up the Nnewi Anambra axis and the entire South-East more when we have an aircraft that could take about 50 passengers to take off and land to the hinterland.