Barely three weeks after Governor Godwin Obaseki expressed delight over the installation of night flying facilities, hope of flying into Benin airport at night has been shattered following the vandalisation of the cabling of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) being installed.
LEADERSHIP learnt that vandals gained access into the porous airport to vandalise the equipment because there was no perimeter fence.
Recently, the Edo State governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, at the 5th Annual General Meeting of the National Association of Air Traffic Communicators of Nigeria (NAATCN) disclosed that first phase of installation has been completed assuring that night operations would start soon.
“I want to thank Capt Akinkuotu for the work he is doing in Benin airport, he has worked very closely with us to ensure that we have night landing facilities and ILS in Benin airport,” the governor said.
It was gathered that as a result of this vandalisation, governor Obaseki has already ordered the arrest and detention of most of the airport staff by the men of the Air force in Benin.
According to the source, “The men of the Nigeria Air Force came to admin block in five vehicles with their officers wielding guns, horsewhips and belts and they carried all the staff in the admin block to their base for five hours. They were however released later.”
It was also gathered that before the installation commenced, there were piles of letters from concerned stakeholders to both the government and FAAN to first fence the porous airport to avoid vandalism of facilities.
Some analysts have however, blamed the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for allowing the installation of the facilities without perimeter fence.
A stakeholder who spoke on condition of anonymity said , “They are putting the cart before the horse and this is the result. They should go ahead and fence the airport before any further installation.”
But the general manager, Public Affairs, FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, told LEADERSHIP that the contract for perimeter fence has been awarded, saying that the contract for the access road has also been awarded while the contactor would be mobilised to base soonest.
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