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OPINION: Jonathan, Oduah, unsung heroes of new airport terminals


Editor's note: Joseph Omowale, a public affairs analyst based in Abuja, writes on the newly commissioned Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, stressing that the project is the brain child of the Jonathan administration, highlighting with emphasis, the immense contribution of the former minister of aviation, Senator Stella Oduah.
Read below:
When the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, said "He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual," it appeared the American founding father had the Muhammadu Buhari administration in mind.
Otherwise, how else can one describe the completion of projects started by administration of Goodluck Jonathan by the present government without giving due credit?
From Abuja-Kaduna railway, new terminal at Port Harcourt Airport, Abuja Light Rail project, commissioning of Air Force drone earlier launched by Jonathan as well as claiming credit for commissioning state projects in Lagos, Ogun, Zamfara, Cross River among others, the list is endless.
Thursday, December 20, 2018 witnessed the unveiling of one of such projects by President Muhammadu Buhari: the commissioning of the new International Terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Unknown to many people, the project was the brainchild of former minister of aviation and senator currently representing Anambra north in the National Assembly, Stella Oduah. She served under the Jonathan administration.
As an insider, I can confirm that the former minister spent sleepless nights to ensure that Nigeria's airport terminals which became glorified bus stops had a face-lift.
An aviation correspondent with a reputable medium who witnessed the whole process recalled how the erstwhile minister spent many late nights in the office working to seal the deal.
Her efforts paid off in 2012 when she obtained a concessionary loan from China EXIM Bank for the construction of five new international airport terminal buildings in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu.
It is instructive to note that Thursday's commissioning of the new international terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by President Buhari is one of the projects, of which concessionary loan was obtained for from China by the then minister.
Although the Chinese initially rejected federal government's request, her efforts paid off after she made a presentation on the benefits of the projects.

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