Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) is the oldest in Nigeria. Nigerians from different parts of the country have used the airport to travel to different parts of the world over the years.
In fact, in the last two decades, almost all northern states have used the airport for the airlift of their pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
The relationship between Kano and North African and Arabian countries saw many flights traveling to the Middle- East tipped the airport as the take off one.
It may seem like, the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo, deliberately abandoned MAKIA which is the major cause of its current deteriorating state. Late Umaru Yar’adua’s administration had a plan to do something about the airport, but death took him away.
Then came the Goodluck Jonathan administration; just like Obasanjo, did not give attention ro the airport despite the administration’s plan to renovate international airports across the country. Ms Stella Odua, the then minister of Aviation removed MAKIA from the list of international airports to be renovated.
Many international airlines announced their decision to suspend landing in Kano, though after a cry out, government did some touch up on the airport.
The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, after the appointment of Senator Hadi Sirika as minister of aviation, has, admittedly brought many new innovations and changes in the aviation sector. Even though so far, the airports that have benefited from all his effort seem to be the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Murtala Muhammad International Airport Lagos, the Port Harcourt International Airport in the south south, and Ikanu Abiam International Airport in the South east.
The fate of Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, in what I can describe as a dilebrate action of the minister since the opening of airports after the COVID-19 lockdown, remains hanging in the balance.
The airport currently has more people using it, due to the problem of kidnapping along Abuja-Kaduna expressway.
Despite that, the top government officials who use the airport more, do not even care about the state of the airport, though we always compare ourselves with other countries.
It is a pity that in 2019 when a member of the House of Representatives, Gudaji Kazaure, while speaking on the floor of the House House of Representatives demonstrated the practical experience of how it is when you land in Kano airport though at that time he was contributing to the issues of the closure of Abuja airport.
With the current minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika who happens to be a pilot and comes from Kano’s neighbour, Katsina which coincidently must use MAKIA since their state-owned airport is less qualified, it is very surprising that his action and body language shows he doesn’t care about the state of the airport.
President Buhari landed at that same airport at different times but didn’t say or do anything either.
Both the president and the minister are paying more attention to the Abuja airport and MM2 in Lagos, while neglecting all northern airports.
The deteriorating state of the Kano airport now that the it only operates domestic flights, it will definitely affect the development of the state as a commercial city since roads are no longer safe. Domestic and international investors will also become scared of investing in the state with reference to the nonchallant attitude of the government towards infrastructure.
Many will now ask Mr Sirika why is he neglecting Kano airport and to what are his reasons for sending away international flights from MAKIA.
Why is it difficult for him to do something about Kano airport to meet international standards so that international airlines can start landing and taking off from Kano?
Now is the right time for notable Kano people to draw the attention of President Buhari to the current state of the oldest airport in Nigeria, and the busiest one in northern Nigeria, and show him how important it is to have an international airport In the commercial centre of northern Nigeria.
Bala can be reached at balahassan2007.