The Nigerian federal government has spent over N84 million for the transportation of air passengers between Kaduna and Abuja since the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The sum was shared among three motor companies that provided 29 vehicles in total to transport the passengers during the Abuja airport closure.
Chisco Motors provided eighteen vehicles, Auto Star Executives provided nine, and MFC investment provided two, our correspondent learned.
Chisco Motors was used to ferry economy passengers, while Auto Star Executives transported international passengers and MFC buses ferried business class passengers.
A document exclusively made available to our correspondent by a source close to the Abuja airport indicated that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) provided the funds for the motor companies.
The passengers were conveyed free of charge by FAAN the moment they disembarked from the aircraft in Kaduna or after buying tickets in Abuja for flights outside the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
On Sunday, no fewer than 291 passengers were ferried by road from Abuja to Kaduna while nearly 300 passengers were transported from Kaduna to Abuja with security led by Nigerian police attached to each vehicle.
Between Friday and Saturday, a total of 40 shuttles belonging to the three companies departed Abuja airport for Kaduna with 770 air passengers.
In total, the federal government has budgeted about N9 billion for the rehabilitation of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, the upgrading of facilities at Kaduna airport, and the provision of logistics for police, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other security agencies in the country to ensure smooth operations during the six-week closure of the Abuja airport.
The rehabilitation of the runway alone gulped N5.8 billion (about $18.4m), a far cry from the initial N63.5 billion (about $425m) the government had aimed to spend on the construction of a second runway for the same airport in 2010.
Also, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) received N100.3 million, the FRSC, N237.2 million, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) received N325 million from the project.
The Nigeria Police Force received N358.5 million and the Nigeria Immigration Service, N29 million.