The governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa, has moved to avert the withdrawal of services by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) at the Gombe international airport by approving the release of N100million to ensure standard and safety at the airport.
The governor who met with the Director-General of the Agency, Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi in Abuja, promised to offset the backlog and provide more standard equipment to ease NiMet operations at the airport.
According to a statement by Ismaila Uba Misilli, media aide to the governor, the new development came against the backdrop of a threat by NiMet to withdraw its services from the Gombe airport due to non-payment of accumulated service fees to the agency since the last administration as well as non-compliance with certain terms provided by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
He said: “We are aware of the importance of the airport to both domestic and international aviation services, not only to the people of Gombe State but the North East in general, hence we are determined to collaborate with NiMet and other relevant authorities to ensure smooth and safe flight operations in the state.”
The governor appealed to NiMet to withdraw its ultimatum and allow his administration to study the MoU with a view to taking the necessary steps to address all the issues raised.
However, the DG Prof. Abubakar informed the governor that his agency had written several letters to the previous government regarding the backlog of payments and reminders of the unsigned MoU without any positive response.
He, therefore, appealed to Governor Inuwa to intervene and address the matter in order to prevent NiMet from withdrawing their services which has the consequences of leading to the shutting down of air operations in Gombe.