Barely three years after the Anambra state cargo airport was flagged off by Governor Willie Obiano in Umueri in Anambra East Local Government area, the project had continued to suffer abandonment as substantial work was yet to commence at the site.
The state government in the 2020 budget had appropriated N6 billion for the airport construction.
The governor, Willie Obiano had on November 2019 said the construction work at the Anambra Cargo Airport would be completed in less than 18 months.
The assurance came three years after the project cited at Umueri community was flagged off.
Speaking during the third Anambra Business and Investment Roundtable at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, Obiano promised to do everything possible to complete the project within the stipulated time.
Obiano also stated that clearing had been done on one-kilometre of the airport’s 3.6-kilometre runway.
But the Commissioner for Works, Marcel Ifejiofor has said that no work was going on at the site.
Speaking when a team of journalists who had earlier visited the airport site, went to his office to get the detailed information on the ongoing project, Ifejiofor said, “noting is happening at the site, if that is the reason you come to my office, ask for another thing.
“I don’t know what you want to be told about the project. Go and quote me, just say work has not started. I am not ready to talk further on the project, so you can say that I said no comment.
“If you have other things to know about the state of roads in Anambra, I will be ready to speak to you, but I am not willing to talk about the airport.
“Any time I want to make comment I will tell you. If the project has started our Anambra Broadcasting Service ABS would have carried the report. Is it because I allowed you into my office? How many commissioners in the state can allow you into their offices the way I allowed you people not to talk of other eastern states. I don’t have any comments on the project.”
The journalists had on the previous day gone to the Umueri site of project, but were refused access even when the Works commissioner was said to be within the site.
When contacted on phone that some journalists were around the site, he said “Why are you here? Who told you to come here? We don’t allow people to come here, you can’t come, but you can come to my office on the following day Wednesday by 10am.”
However, the journalists finding showed that work had started as some earth moving equipment were already clearing the site.
The commissioner had, during the 2020 budget presentation, said the State Government budgeted N6billion for the construction of the proposed Anambra Cargo Airport, despite initial information that a Chinese Company, Sinoking International would build it at no cost to the state through a build – operate – manage and transfer (BOMT) basis.
According to him, the government made provision of N6billion in the proposed 2020 budget because the Chinese company was wasting time, and the governor needed to start doing something since he had already promised the people an airport.