By Aondowase Agabi
The Wachakal airstrip, Nguru in Yobe State, a project by the Federal Government of Nigeria is now 85 percent completed, the Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry of Aviation, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole said.
He disclosed this during a test flight conducted on the airstrip by officials of the Ministry recently, a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi the spokesman for the ministry said.
The Director of Aerodrome Development, Engr. Clement Olayinka Awogbami who represented the Permanent Secretary said despite the inflations that caught up with the project , which led to its review, coupled with challenges of limited resources, the Federal Government started the project about a year ago and, a significance progress has been recorded. This he attributed to the level of commitment and concern to reform in the aviation sector.
According to the Director of Aerodrome of the Ministry, the design for the airstrip is expected to have Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Range (DVOR) equipment which would guide aircraft coming into the runway. However, he added that because of the foreign component involved in its manufacturing, it will take some time to acquire it and would be installed as soon as it’s delivered. ‘’We are hoping that the DVOR will be installed in the next three months. Once that is done, then the airstrip will be officially ready for use’’ he said.
While stating the economic benefits of the project, he said: “This type of project is designed for the purpose of security; it will enhance security surveillance, it will also aid VIP movement, assist in medical evacuation in case of emergency and also for agricultural purposes. It is expected that the project when ready and in use will contribute to the country’s GDP’’
The Emir of Nguru, Alhaji Mustapha Ibn Mai Kyari expressed gratitude to the federal government for the project. He said the project will boost the economy of the community and also reduce unemployment rate amongst the youths.
On his part, the Vice Chairman of Karasuwa Local Government, Hassan Daliru thanked the former Senate President, and the Federal Government for attracting development to the State. He said: “This airstrip was not in existence some years ago but with the effort of the former Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, we now have this project that will be completed soon. We hope to see more infrastructural development in our State”.