The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has assured Nigerians that the current economic recession will soon become history.
He said “With complete focus on improving the economy every day, the recession will soon be history.”
While referring to Monday’s protests in different parts of the country against the economic hardship in the country, Osinbajo commended the Inspector General of Police and his officers for handling the protests with professionalism and respect for the rights of the citizens.
He said, “We are committed to a continuous engagement with our people to explain government policies, and receive advice and criticism.
“Cabinet ministers have gone round eight states so far, holding town hall meetings, the most recent was in Ilorin yesterday (Monday). There will be more of such meetings in the other states that are yet to be visited.”
At the Ilorin town hall meeting, which was organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture, the Federal Government gave an assurance that the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja would be ready in six weeks from the date of its closure.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who gave the assurance, added that there was no way the government would not close the airport for the needed repairs.
Amaechi, who acknowledged the pains the closure of the airport would cause the economy, however, maintained that his ministry would ensure its immediate reopening after the rehabilitation had been concluded in six weeks.
A statement signed by the minister, said the NAIA runway was designed to last for 20 years.
But he regretted that it had lasted for 34 years, adding that it must be fixed now in order to make it better.
Amaechi said, “We are saying that the Abuja airport’s runway was built to last for 20 years but we have been using it for 34 years. It has become extremely dangerous to continue using it the way it is right now. We need to close it to reconstruct it.
“The foundation is almost gone and what we are asking for is patience. If we don’t close it, we will be exposing lives to danger. One of the constitutional responsibilities of the President is to protect lives and property.
“So, you can’t deny us that responsibility. We believe that if we close it by March, in six weeks’ time, we shall be able to reopen it. We know it is challenging for our economy. We think that we will keep to that six weeks.”
While explaining issues concerning maritime, particularly in the North Central region, Amaechi noted that his ministry was determined to inaugurate the Baro River Port by the first quarter of next year.