Senate raises alarm over N63.5b Abuja airport runway contract

Saraki-Senate-pix-1-8-15-CopyTHE Senate yesterday frowned at the N63.5 billion reviewed cost for the construction of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja second runway just as the upper legislative chamber urged the Federal Government to ensure that due process and diligence were followed in the design, award and procurement processes of the contract.

Also yesterday, the three senators from Sokoto State wrote to Senate President Bukola Saraki withdrawing petitions they had presented against the ministerial nomination of Ms Aisha Abubakar.

Following her nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari for screening and confirmation by the Senate, some groups from the state including Concerned Women of Sokoto State, petitioned the chamber against her choice on alleged grounds of incompetence and not being known in the state’s chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC).

While acknowledging the need for the construction of the runway, the Senate, however, urged the Federal Government to drastically reduce what it described as the “unrealistic cost” of the contract and also ensure that the contract award process was monitored.

Senator Dino Melaye, APC representing Kogi West, in a motion titled: The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Second Runway Contract, stated that the N63.5 billion reviewed contract was another attempt to defraud the country.

According to Melaye, the contact, which was awarded at the cost of N64 billion by the past administration was recently reviewed upwards N64.5 billion.

However, the Senate was equally not comfortable with the new contract cost and as representatives of the people, Melaye urged his colleagues to compel Federal Government to ensure strict adherence to due process and Public Procurement Act in the said contract.

He warned that if the issue was not brought to the attention of the government, there may be another fraud in the making, given the cooperative analysis of cheaper cost across the country.

We are further convinced by the fact that the entire Gombe Airport with 3.6km runway cost N8.2 billion; Jigawa Airport cost a total amount of N11 billion; Bauchi Airport cost N12 billion, Enugu Airport was reconstructed and expanded at N13 billion while Akwa Ibom was constructed at N18.05 billion.

The Senate was further worried that the new terminal 5 in Heathrow Airport with four lanes of 4km runway cost less than N25 billion and constructing a 3.8km one lane runway for N63.5 billion will be a waste of fund considering Nigeria’s present economic situation.
“The contract for the construction of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Second Runway was cancelled by the last Administration after allegations of over inflation of contracts was established.
“It was also noted that the contact was awarded by the Federal Executive Council at N64 billion after ratification by the Bureau for Public Procurement. There is also a great need for the construction of a second run way since the existing one is not only bad but inadequate.
“The Senate believed that the publication that the contract is already undergoing review and to be awarded at N63.5 billion as published by newspapers across the country is another attempt to steal and rape Nigerians of our common patrimony,” Melaye added.

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  • oloriakojo

    We are getting there slowly…….at least someone is checking what was done in other parts of the world……….why is a run way more expensive than the construction of an entire airport…………this is why we need badly in Nigeria to expose all the govt contract awards done under the table.

    • Maxwell Agwaza Dagba

      Dino lied. The cost of Heathrow Terminal 4 was 4.2 billion POUNDS.That’s over a trillion Naira. I’m not saying the contract cost is justified, but there’s no need to mix lies and truth to make a point. The internet gives us so much information now that there’s no need trying to bamboozle the public.

      • Ojiyovwi

        You’re wrong too. The cost you find in the internet is the total cost of runway, access roads, buildings and other ancillaries including engineering equipment needed for the operation of the new terminal. Our rep may not have had the whole truth either, but be pleased that we no longer just rubber stamp any rubbish from these blood suckers who will just pluck an estimate from the air in the usual hope of escaping due scrutiny. No more!!!!

        • Maxwell Agwaza Dagba
          • Ojiyovwi

            Heathrow Terminal 5 is an airport terminal at Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR, ICAO: … The building cost £4 billion and took almost 20 years from conception to …
            Cost‎: ‎£4.2 billion
            Construction started‎: ‎September 2002

        • AA

          Maxwell did not say it was the cost of just a runway. Re-read his post: He said it was the cost of the Terminal.

    • Martino

      Point of correction. The RUNWAY is more expensive than 5 BRAND NEW AIRPORTS @ N12B each. Whoever submitted that cancelled contract should be investigated. These folks have become more innovative about LOOTING Nigeria under the WATCH of our FOREMOST ANTI-CORRUPTION CRUSADER, PMB. This is only one. What about other small Billion Naira bills? I’m sure those small ones would have passed.


    Tell me any Honest Contractors in Nigeria without extra cost for them to share with connection, useless people , funny Country likes money allot , i meant free zone Money no string attached of course,

  • Adelmo Juan
  • Sule

    Nigerians we hail thee. We seems to know the exact figure it cost other country to build a run way but in Nigeria. Who knows what? Contractors figure would be different from the Thieve minister, different from the Senator and the so-called executives. All the three arms of government would give different and conflicting figure in the name to corrupt and steal money.

  • emmanuel kalu

    only in Nigeria. well if the senate has the figure of comparable runways, they should force the contract to be cancelled. this is clearly looting of resources and pure madness.

  • prince ethel

    Holy Buhari have started his own, he must cover what they spent for election. All the noise of corruption will shock Nigeria when this regime will end. With corrupt criminals around buhari what will make him not corrupt. Is that runway our main problem now?why not declare emergency in power sector

    • Chukwu Michael

      Buhari can not be corrupt because he has corrupt people with him, he is already corrupt even more than those with him. All the stolen money that saw him emerge as president can never be known till he exists office. Some of those he nominated as Ministers are corrupt. He never cared to ask how they got the money they spenf for his election.

  • Samuel

    Information on the design, award and procurement processes of contracts should be made available to the public and published. If that is done it will help minimize fraud associated with award of contracts.
    Constructing a runway supposed to be cheaper than constructing an entire airport,

  • Chukwu Michael

    See Senate talking about due proccess and diligence! How people think they can easly decieve others with lies. Who thought them diligence and due proccess? After confirming people who are known to be frauds to become Ministers against all known diligence and due proccess, you are preaching due proccess and diligence, well, like father like son.