An aircraft belonging to Lufthansa air is currently grounded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport after it suffered a broken gear upon landing on the damaged runway.
The Nigerian Tribune reports that the minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, made the revelation on Monday, January 23, 2017 at the second Presidential Business Forum (PBF) at the conference centre of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The PBF is presided over by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The minister said the aircraft had been grounded for three days at the airport after the major damage just as he added that the federal government was determined to shut down the airport for six weeks so as to rehabilitate the runway.
The report said while responding to concerns raised by Frank Udenba-Jacobs, the president of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), on the negative effect of the closure of the runway, the minister as declaring that there was no going back on the plan to shut down the airport for six weeks.
Amaechi reportedly said the airport runway had been in existence for 34 years meaning that it had outlived its lifespan of 20 years.
The minister said the government was going to rebuild the airport and not just engage in its repair adding that the entire architecture of the runway had collapsed and now totally unsafe.
“We are not going back on closure of Abuja airport. I understand that Lufthansa landed and damage their gear and have been here for three days. The runaway was built to last for 20 years but it has been in use now for 34 years.
“We cannot do it only at night. We don’t want to loose anybody. We are not repairing but re-building.
"If anything happens you will ask us to resign and we don’t want to resign,” Amaechi said at the event that provides a platform for government to interact with the private sector and make them aware of policies.
Issues concerning the runaway had led to the Senate inviting some ministers to explain why the government plans to shut it down.