Airline operators in Nigeria have protested the government's decision to close the Abuja airport for six weeks in a bid to repair its badly damaged runway, saying the rehabilitation work should be done at midnight to minimise its impact on their operations.
They also argued that the Kaduna airport might not be ready to carry out the volume of traffic that hits Abuja on a daily basis.
Kaduna is about 180 km (110 miles) to the north of Abuja. The Nigerian authorities said there would be additional security provided for shuttle buses travelling along a highway that has been the scene of high-profile kidnappings. Helicopter transfer services would also be available, they said.
Announcing the closure, Junior Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika said the “entire structure of the runway has failed” and was “unsafe for operation”.
We will close Abuja runway for only 6 weeks in the interest of safety, please bear with us. https://t.co/wzQSH8beNW— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) January 5, 2017