On April 11, 2017, Anambra State was in complete celebration mood as Governor Willie Obiano flagged off Anambra International Cargo Airport in Umueri at the cost of $2.2billion, according to the Governor, the project is much more than just an airport, it’s an “Aerodrome”. The facilities and features contained in the airport which distinguished it from other Nigeria airports includes the following.
(a) It will have 2 runways.
(b) it will have an aviation fuel dump.
(c) it will have 5 star Airport hotel.
(d) it will have industrial Business Park.
(e) it will have international convention centre.
(f) it will have aircraft maintenance facility.
(g) it will have aviation fuel refilling segment.
This Airport City project according to the Governor will be delivered in 36months. (April 10th, 2020)
Prior to the Anambra State gubernatorial election, alot of noise and politics were played about it’s commissioning and operation commencement. Though, the airport eventually commenced operation in December 2021 (belatedly) and recorded impressive number of 142 flights and 3000 plus passengers.
However, last week, I went to the so much heralded airport, What I saw at the airport are beyond deception, lies, small mindedness, visionlessness, fraud and embezzlement.
Firstly, none of the itemized features above are present in the airport. The road leading to the airport is not only tiny but uncompleted too, it’s substandard and being handled by almost unknown construction company called “KEEN”(or whatever), the streetlights are not functioning at night. Then, the other access road connecting the airport from Nteje-Umueri-Aguleri axis is 98% uncompleted, in fact, criminals can finish whoever ply that road in comfort without anybody intervening on time.
Coming into the airport properly, the road leading into the airport premises from the gate is so tiny that just a little mistake from the driver, the car will go off road into the canal😭😭😭😭, then a landscape view of the airport premises is an eyesore as the whole places are littered with red mud sand, an indication that nothing has been done so far. Somewhere along the car parking space, there is a red 40ft container, obstructing vehicular movement in the park.. The owner, usefulness or importance of that container remains unknown.
Now, the terminal building is too small for an airport of international standard, into the departure terminal properly, I will state it categorically that the only completed project inside this Airport is the Governor’s Portrait hanging on the wall there. Inside, the space for airline operators is not spacious enough for the two airlines operating there at the moment, one can imagine what will happen when and if the airport begins international operation? The roof of that airport is still uncovered with ceiling or something like that…. The light bulbs on the roof are temporary ones awaiting removal when ceiling work commence. The elevator machine as shown on the pictures here are not only unfunctional but unmounted, in fact as I was at airport and as I write now, work is still ongoing inside that commissioned airport ( a white man was pictured working on top of the airport roof).
The truth remains that this airport is largely uncompleted and commissioning it at this stage of work is not only fraudulent but criminal. FAAN and other relevant agencies may OK it for operation, considering the runway, the operation tower, etc but the amount of money ($2.2billion) invested in this project (according to the Governor) doesn’t commiserate with work done so far. And Willie Obiano owe Anambrarians explanations on how he spent such amount of money on this airport.
N:B. This Airport will still bring big issues between the incumbent Governor and the incoming Governor because, despite all the noise about not owing anyone a dime in the airport project, Soludo will still need to fund this airport if it will be up to standard Anambrarians expect it to be…