Bauchi — This year's intending pilgrims from Bauchi State are to be air lifted from the N7.9 billion international airport being constructed by the Bauchi State government.
Bauchi State Governor Malam Isa Yuguda stated this yesterday while performing the foundation laying ceremony of the airport in Bauchi. He said the construction of an international airport in the state is an asset not only to the state but also to the North-east and the country in general.
"The strategic location of Bauchi State as a gateway to the North-east sub-region and also being a home to the West African premier Game Reserve, the Yankari Game Reserve, makes the construction of an international airport imperative," Yuguda stressed.
He said an efficient and effective transport system is needed to facilitate the movement of the people and goods within the state.
"It's in realization of the direct bearing transportation has on the overall socio-economic development of the state that our government has since inception embarked on the construction of roads in different parts of the state," he noted.
He expressed hope that with an international airport in place, the state can attract more visitors, both local and foreign, as well ass more tourists to the Yankari Game Reserve, declaring that, "this will go a long way in boosting the economy of the state." Yuguda informed that the objective of constructing the airport began with the constitution of the Bauchi State Special Projects Tender Committee which was charged with the responsibility of fast tracking the award of contract for the execution of some special projects in the state in line with the principles of due process.
He said following due process and diligence, the construction of the airport was awarded to Messrs Triacta Nigeria Limited at a total cost of N7,998,595,433.13 with a completion period of 18 months, adding that the state government made a down payment of 70 percent of the total contract sum to the contractors.
Yuguda stated that the construction of the airport, which he said had a length of runway of 3.4 kilometres, had reached an advanced stage asssuring that the state pilgrims for the 2013 Hajj in Saudi Arabia will be airlifted from the airport. The state Commissioner for Works, Bukata Bukar Bayero explained that the construction of the airport is historic as preceding administrations had not been able to realize the dream of giving the state a befitting airport.