By ARMSTRONG ALLAHMAGANI, Bauchi –
The Bauchi State Government has handed over the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport to the Federal Government for effective management and economic development of the State.
It was handed over to the Federal Government through the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.
Our correspondent reports that the Airport which was built in 2013 by the former Governor Isa Yuguda led administration and has been managed by the Bauchi State Government.
Speaking at the official handover on Tuesday at the VIP 9, the Managing Director of FAAN, Kabir Muhammad told journalists that the government has agreed to handover the facility to the Federal Government.
“Before now, the Airport has been jointly operated by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and Bauchi Government. In a most recent discussion looking at how to optimally use the Airport, the Bauchi Government graciously accepted to cede the operation of the airport FAAN not because they cannot operate it.
“But they believe that handing it over to the federal government will open the state to more opportunities,” he said.
Muhammad said that Bauchi and other states in the North-East would benefit more from the new arrangement.
He said that the Federal Executive Council has approved some “substantial amount of money as a refund” to the Bauchi government.
He clarified that: “It may not certainly be the amount of money the Bauchi State spent on the Airport. But I know it is a sizable amount to be used for other projects.”
Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Auwal Jatau, said that the Airport was officially adopted by FAAN in May this year noting that the Agency’s MD and his team were in Bauchi for the ceremonial part of the agreement.