By Raphael Ekpang
House of Representatives Committee on Aviation led by Honourable Nnolim Nnaji will on Friday, May 5, 2023 dispach a fact-finding team to the Runview, Ajao Estate Lagos where Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has commenced demolition of houses allegedly obstructing safety and security of flight operations.
The committee had on Wednesday summoned the management of FAAN following the uproar generated by the demolition of the buildings initially perceived to be the handiwork of the Lagos State government.
The Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Nnaji had in his opening remarks stressed that, “the Committee’s summoning of the FAAN is in consonance with our roles as Parliamentarians. We represent the people and whatever affects the people must demand our immediate response.
“The committee wants to know what the issues are and why FAAN had to take the steps it took and why the authority had to wait this long before carrying out the action.”
The Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu H. Yadudu had explained that the demolition of houses at the Runview Estate in Ajao Estate Lagos were based purely on security and safety concerns.
He further explained that there were a total of 254 houses within the airport land which were classified as illegal structures which notices of demolition were served on the owners way back in 2008.
The FAAN chief executive also told the committee that the authority set up a joint committee with members drawn from his authirity and the representatives of the estate which came with the conclusions that 34 out of the 254 houses must give way immediately in the interest of safety and security of flight operations.
He added that the 34 houses marked for immediate demolition were either on aviation fuel pipelines or obstructing the surveillance of the perimeter fencing of the airport while some of them exceeded the required height limit.
FAAN management equally informed the House that it approached the Lagos State government in September last year (2022) to assist it in the demolition exercise because the authority didn’t have the requisite equipment to carry out the demonstration by itself.
He noted that the request was passed to the state’s development control which carried out its own investigation on the matter before it began the exercise on the 30th of April, 2023.
On the issue of non functioning air-conditioners and elevators at the terminal buildings in Lagos and Abuja Airports, Captain Yadudu explained that the facilities had become too obsolete for continued maintenance, adding that the authority had awarded contracts for their replacements.