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By NBF News
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Ahead of the South-south Economic Summit billed for April 26 through 28 in Asaba, the Delta State Government, yesterday approved the contract for the demolition of hills around the Asaba Airport to allow for bigger aircraft to land.

Commissioner for Economic Planning, Kenneth Okpara, who briefed journalists on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting, stated that the contract was initially awarded to one firm at the sum of N7.4 billion.

He said the contract sum was not reviewed but broken down into three, to accommodate the three contracting firms including ULO Consultants, Levante Construction Limited and CCC Construction Nigeria Limited, now handling the project.

Okpara stated that the demolition of the hills became necessary so that 'special and bigger' aircraft can land before the commencement of the South-south Economic Summit.

'The President is coming to the summit and we want him to land here in Asaba and not in Benin,' adding that, 'we have just 10 days to put the airport in proper shape because that is one of the conditions given by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) for bigger aircraft to land.'

The commissioner told journalists that the new arrangement was 'a matter of government being proactive and to ensure that things move on properly.'

Okpara insisted that the new arrangement on the contract award would not have additional cost implication even as he maintained sealed lips on the total cost of the project.