Anambra airport project committee has defended the choice of Umuleri in Anambra East Local Government Area for the sitting of Anambra airport which was hitherto sited at Oba in Idemili South by previous administrations.
Chairman of a 15-man committee in charge of the airport project, Engineer Ignatius Ewuzie at a press briefing said that Oba is inadequate for the airport site.
The chairman cited limited land for expansion, erosion menace and PHCN high-tension cable near the Oba site as the major reasons Oba is not adequate for the project.
According to Engr Ewuzie the committee looked at Oba, Igbariam and Umuleri sites and knocked off the first two sites as it considers Umuleri the most suitable area which he said has possibilities for expansion and not prone to erosion.
He said that the committeeâ€™s decision to site the airport at Umuleri is purely technical and devoid of politics.
â€œWe are not politicians. We are purely technical. When we take a decision we donâ€™t think about our immediate environment,â€ Engr Ewuzie said. He said that the committee needed a site that will provide about 5.64 kilometres in length by 3 kilometres wide on a tableland. He said the committee is proposing two parallel runways, cargo building and other ancillary facilities needed in an airport of international standard.
The chairman gave the assurance that by the end of 2008, the site clearing would have been done as the committee will provide the runways in December 2009.
He said that consultants and contractors will be engaged soon to actualize the airport project.
â€œWe expect people from international organizations to come here and endorse what we are going to do. Aviation industry is international. If we play politics over it they can come here and stop the construction,â€ Engr Ewuzie clarified.
It would be recalled that Oba community where the airport site was hitherto located and the entire Idemili people agitated against the move to remove the airport from their area.
Meanwhile, two of the construction companies handling road works in the state have been sacked by Governor Peter Obi for incompetence.
Also, Obi has dissolved the Board of Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA) with a promise to reconstitute a new one within two weeks. Disclosing this at a post executive briefing, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communications, Mr Chuks Iloegbunam said the decisions to sack the contractors and dissolve ANSEPA board were taken at state executive council on Monday.
Iloegbunam stated that at the meeting it was also resolved that henceforth, any community whose indigenes harassed any contractor, the contract would be terminated and the contract taken to another place