2nd Runway Project: FG Assures Jiwa Community Of Enhanced Benefits In 2024 Budget

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FMAv Runway
A cross section of stakeholders during the handover of the runway site in Abuja.

In light of the ongoing Abuja 2nd runway project, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN has assured the Jiwa community that they can anticipate greater benefits from the 2024 budget.

Keyamo made this announcement during the official handover of the Abuja second runway site, emphasising the historical significance of the day for the aviation industry, which paves the way for the immediate commencement of work by the contractors.

The issue of the Abuja second runway has been in discussion since the administration of former President Obasanjo.

Furthermore, he disclosed that the ministry would not circumvent the law by providing additional compensation to the Jiwa community.

“We will not bypass the law. The problem is that we cannot bypass the law. We wish to offer more compensation to Jiwa, but if we do so, it would impact the entire Abuja community, and everyone would come forward with their own demands.

“We made extensive promises because your traditional leader advocated for you. Every time we met with him, he was solely concerned about the welfare of his people. He consistently fought for his people. What we did, in line with your traditional leader’s insistence, was to ensure that other palliatives reached his people,” he explained.

Keyamo stressed that in the 2024 budget, they have already finalised plans to allocate numerous projects to the Jiwa community, such as a health centre, a bridge, and a 5-kilometre road.

“With the 2024 budget, you will begin to witness development in the Jiwa community. Furthermore, you can be confident that the benefits of the second runway around the Jiwa community will be significant, providing substantial economic advantages to the community and the nation as a whole.

“For those who have lost their land and personal property, such as houses, I can assure you that you will gain twice as much once this project is fully realised. You will reap more than what you have lost,” he added.

He revealed that the second runway would open up numerous possibilities, including more planes and land, leading to increased commercial activities in the area.

Keyamo urged the contractors to engage the people of Jiwa, as workers and labourers for the second runway project.

The Emir of Jiwa, HRM Alhaji Idris Musa, expressed relief regarding the second runway project, explaining that their community had been losing sleep over accommodation problems and challenges that had affected their community.

He appealed to the House of Assembly regarding the compensation they had received, asserting that it was insufficient. Without revising the way compensation was distributed, many would suffer.

“The money given to us cannot even educate our children or help us in any significant way. If one person has 30 children and receives about 1 million, how can that amount be distributed among them? Some get as little as 200 naira, and others receive NGN 10,000. Without farms or funds, there is little we can do except exercise patience. The solution lies with you. The House of Assembly must change and rectify some of these issues,” he stated.

He requested that the Jiwa community be given priority for employment opportunities during the ongoing second runway project. “When work begins, our people should be the first to receive employment. If this does not happen, don’t claim that they are protesting to you. I do not want any protests. We must follow due process and work together in cooperation, as nothing can be achieved without cooperation.”

Additionally, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Sen. Buhari Abdulfatai assured the Emir of Jiwa that the National Assembly (NAS) would consider the compensation given to them, expressing their satisfaction with the Jiwa community due to the broader benefits the country would receive.

The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole highlighted that this project had been in discussion for over two decades. The issues that delayed the commencement of the Abuja second runway project have now been resolved.

He stressed that the Abuja second runway would benefit the country by promoting development in the aviation sector, creating employment opportunities, and enhancing passenger safety.

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