Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has decried the paucity of funds to keep the state-owned airport functional.
Yahaya, who stated this in Gombe while briefing Members of the Joint Committee on Aviation, said it had become difficult for the government to cope with the financial burden of keeping the airport in good shape.
He said the resources for maintaining the airport facility was competing with the ones needed for developmental projects that would benefit the people.
“We finance the airport and its operation and it is becoming cumbersome on the state government, especially in view of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
The governor also decried the meagre income from the federal allocation saying “we are among the lowest earning states in terms of federal allocation.
He said with the geographical position of Gombe state in the Northeast, the service of the airport had become national and international.
”This is because through our boundaries you can access Cameroon and Chad or even Niger Republic,” he added.
Yahaya stated that the state government needed support to ensure that the airport was made standard and to upgrade the facilities to make it cargo or international airport for the Northeast.
According to Adeyemi, since Gombe state airport is strategically located in the northeast sub-region, there was a need for serious attention from the federal government.
He said that aviation was key to socio-economic development of any nation, as it “is the life of the nation today as no nation can talk about economic prosperity without the aviation industry.’’
On their assessment of the airport, Adeyemi said “the facilities here seem to be obsolete, some of them are outdated. There is a need for proper funding for this airport.
He added that one of the major requirements for airport was adequate water supply which according to him is lacking, and“ quite disturbing.’’
Also speaking, Rep. Nnolim Nnaji, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Aviation, said discussion had began and would be strengthened for the federal government to take-over the airport.
“It is important, there is air-foot lightening to boost operations especially at night. There is need for upgrade of the facility and the governor requested that it should be taking-over by the federal government.
“We believe that the federal government should take it over because of its commercial activity and strategic location in the northeast sub-region.’’(NAN)