The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday declared that the N64 billion contract for the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, was outrageous.

At its plenary, the Senate considered a three-point motion by Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West), which acknowledged the urgent need for a second runway at the airport, but argued that the contract sum was “too exorbitant’’.

The Senate urged the Federal Government to ensure that due process and diligence is followed in the design, award and procurement of the contract, while the cost should be “drastically reduced’’.

“The Federal Government should reduce this unrealistic cost and duly monitor the award process,’’ Mr. Melaye said.

The Senator said the proposed cost of the runway far exceeded the cost of constructing some airports around the country and even abroad.

He noted that the terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, with four lanes of 4km runway, cost less than N25 billion, while the entire Gombe Airport, with 3.66km runways, cost N8.2 billion.

He said that the Jigawa Airport cost N11 billion, Bauchi Airport, N12 billion, Enugu Airport, N13 billion, while the Akwa Ibom Airport cost about N18 billion.

He wondered why the proposed construction of a mere runway at Abuja Airport would cost N64 billion.

When the motion was put to a voice vote, the Senators overwhelmingly supported the motion calling for the review of the contract.

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