Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has promised to settle the debt owed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by the state government in order to avert the closure of Gombe Airport.
This was contained in a statement issued by Mr Ismaila Misilli, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the governor and made available to newsmen on Friday, in Gombe.
According to the statement, the governor has waded in and made a commitment to settle the debt which had accrued since the tenure of the last administration.
He stated that the move by the governor was as a result of the notice given by FAAN, indicating its resolve to withdraw the services of its aviation security and aerodrome rescue and fire fighting personnel.
Misilli said that the FAAN’s threat was to effectively shut down operations at the airport from Friday, Nov. 15.
He stated that FAAN had, in April, threatened to shut down the airport and eight others that were indebted to it after the earlier ultimatum had lapsed.
“On coming to office in May, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya had promised to intervene to get FAAN to continue with its services at the airport.
“Following the latest notice, the state government has made a commitment to make another payment by the end of November and offsetting the outstanding debts in subsequent months,” Misilli said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that FAAN had, on May 3, said that the airport, owned by the Gombe State government, was owing N607.9 million.
Edited by Remi Koleoso and ‘Wale Sadeeq