By Chimezie Anaso
The Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) has commended the quality of work at the ongoing Anambra Cargo and Passenger Airport Project at Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area.
The engineers, who included structural engineers and transport /highway engineers, made the commendation during a visit to the airport on Friday.
The Vice Chairman of NSE, Awka Branch, Mr Finbaar Ajegbu, who led the engineers to the site, said that they were satisfied with the quality of materials and the local content infusion.
Ajegbu said that the engineers had longed to visit the airport so they could make informed assessment of the project.
“I can tell you that we are marveled at the level of engineering masterpiece here, the quality is high and the share of local content in terms of manpower and materials is impressive.
“It is interesting to know that these materials, which could not be sourced abroad because of COVID-19-induced global lockdown, was sourced from Aba, here in Nigeria.
“So far, all is going well, the target for test of runway was met and we are hopeful that with the speed of work, the target for delivery of the airport will be met.
“This is first of its kind, the runway is superb, the hi-tech radar tower is top-notch, the engineering society is proud of this project,” he said.
Dr Akaolisa Ezeagu, Coordinator of Nigeria Institute of Structural Engineers, Anambra Chapter, said that beyond aesthetics, the integrity of the work was satisfactory.
Ezeagu, a Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, praised the project handlers for strict adherence to safety standards and precautions.
“The structural integrity of work is excellent, the materials are of high quality with international construction method; more importantly, the adherence to safety is commendable.
“We want them to take special interest in safety, they should ensure that the fencing is completed, we are happy with the drainage system, the fire safety measures and water hydrant which are basic features of an airport are in place,” he said.
Mr Marcel Ifejiofor, Commissioner for Works in Anambra who is also the supervisor of the project, said that the visit was significant as it would enable the professionals to properly assess the job.
Ifejiofor said that all segments of the project were being executed with approval from relevant authorities such as the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and International Air Transport Association.
He said that the runway, tarmac and apron had been completed while radar, departure hall and fire hydrant had reached advanced stage.
According to him, the airport project is a testimony of indigenous technology ingenuity and resourcefulness.
“Today is important; we have always had visitors here but this team is special because they are engineers who know what I know, they have not come to admire the aesthetics but also the integrity, I am happy that they have given us a pass mark.
“All the plans of the governor for this project is progressing, the governor wants to make this project operational as soon as possible so that Anambra people can begin to fly from Umueri airport and avoid the dangers and challenges of road transport.
“We worked throughout last year and never lost manhour in spite of the lockdown and rains.
“The good thing is that we have completed about 95 per cent of earthworks here; so, whether there is rain or not, we will progress,” he said. (NAN)
•PHOTO: Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) delegation touring the Anambra Cargo and Passenger Airport, currently under construction. PHOTO: NAN.