Kaduna … Waiting for boom in business

By Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief   |   12 February 2017   |   2:31 am

Airport Community Complains Of Neglect

Diverting flights to Kaduna airport with effect from March 8, would no doubt add a boost to the economy of Kaduna. In anticipation of the high human and vehicular traffic, coupled with boost in business activities, Kaduna State government has commenced roads rehabilitation in the city, particularly roads leading to the airport.

For instance, Governor Nasir El-Rufai spent a considerable number of hours’ everyday, to ensure that the rehabilitation works are completed on schedule, to ensure free movement of traffic in the metropolis.

Essentially, roads linking the airport and train terminal in Rigasa, and Kaduna-Abuja highway are undergoing facelift. Security agents have commenced inspection of major hotels in the metropolis, to ensure that adequate security is maintained.

Major hotels, including Hamdalla Hotel, Hotel 17th, Assa Pyramid Hotel and others, all within the metropolis, are wearing new looks, as most of the infrastructure and facilities are getting a facelift, in anticipation of upsurge in customers and guests.

At Hotel 17th, an official who preferred anonymity said “We have had series of visit by security operatives to our hotel to inspect the level of security here, and I believe that it is all in anticipation of the level of our preparedness to accommodate more guests.

“You can see that here in this hotel everything is taking a new look. We have expanded our services and accommodation facilities. I can say that we are up to the task to play host to more customers.”

Transporters and vendors of newspapers are not left out in the anticipated boost in business activities. A cab driver at the Kaduna airport, Alhaji Ladi Barde said: “Our association held a meeting with all the registered airport taxi drivers on the rules of conduct when more passengers begin to arrive here and we have to follow the rules and regulations.

“We are happy that when all the passengers that are supposed to land Abuja airport start coming here, our business will improve and there will be more activities.”

The Newspapers Distribution and Vendors Associations are not left out in the anticipated boom, as many of them are already planning how they will increase level of circulation to meet the demands of passengers from various flights into Kaduna.

Meanwhile, as the business community is poised to reap from the flight diversion to Kaduna airport, Human Rights Activist and Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani has expressed concern over the plight of the people of Gwazaye community in Igabi Local Government Area. The community hosts the airport.

Addressing members of the community, who visited him to register their grievances over neglect of the community by successive administration in the state, he called on the state government to look into the plight of the people.
He welcomed the decision of the Federal Government to divert local and international flights to Kaduna airport, describing the decision as well thought out.

Spokesman for the community, Mallam Tukur Idi alleged that, since government took over their land many years ago, they have not really felt government impact in the area, as they lack basic amenities like road, school, electricity and hospital.

There is no better time for us to appeal to relevant authorities in the aviation industry to come to our aid than now. When our land was taken over years back, they promised to adequately compensate our fathers, which they have not done. For instance, they promised us underground road so that we don’t pass through the airport, but that has remain a mirage.

“You can imagine, we don’t have a single secondary school in the area. Our children have to trek many kilometres everyday from house to town. We have lost some of them in the process to kidnappers and accident. We don’t equally have hospital. This has also exposed our women and children to maternal mortality. We don’t have water. We don’t have transformer to enjoy electricity,” he said.


In this article:
Nasir El-Rufai


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