Samuel Luka, Bauchi
The Governor Bala Mohammed led Bauchi State Government has handed over the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport to the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Speaking to newsmen during the official handing over ceremony on Tuesday, the Managing Director of FAAN, Kabir Yusuf Muhammad said the move was meant to ensure effective management and economic development of Bauchi State.
Our correspondent reports that the Airport which was built by the administration of Isah Yuguda in 2013 has been under management of the state government before the new development.
Kabir Yusuf Muhammad added that the government of Bauchi has agreed to hand over the facility to the Federal Government.
He said before now, the Airport has been jointly operated by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and the Bauchi state 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 to FAAN not because they cannot operate it but they believe that handing it over to the federal government will open it to more opportunities”, the Managing Director of FAAN said.
He explained that Bauchi and other states of the North East would benefit more from the new arrangement.
The FAAN boss announced that the Federal Executive Council has approved some substantial amount of money as a refund to the Bauchi government.
“It may not certainly be the amount of money the Bauchi State spent on the Airport. But I know it is a sizeable amount to be used for other projects”, he disclosed.
The Deputy Governor of Bauchi state, Rt. Hon. Mohammed Auwal Jatau while commenting, said that the facility was officially adopted by the FAAN in May 2023 but just in Bauchi for the ceremonial part of the agreement.