The new airport built by the Bauchi State Government has been named after the first Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Gov. Isa Yuguda made this known to newsmen on Friday, shortly after he landed at the airport to assess preparations for its inauguration by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 29. He said the airport, located about 20km along Bauchi to Kano road, is to be known as Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport. Yuguda said naming the airport after the late prime minister was in recognition of his contribution to the development of the country.
“God has given the Bauchi people, the opportunity to be part of Nigeria’s great history by producing the first Prime Minister in the country. “As you are all aware, most international airports are named after prominent persons, especially past presidents. “As far as Bauchi State is concerned, we owe him (Tafawa Balewa), for placing the state on the map of prominent states in the country; so it is an honour naming the airport after him,” he said. Yuguda said he was happy that the multi-billion naira project, which was initially estimated to cost N7.9bn, but which eventually gulped about N13.1bn, was finally completed.
“I am very happy that the airport is completed and our dream has come to fruition; the promise we made to the people of Bauchi, has been fulfilled. “It is now set for us to utilize it for the purpose for which it was built; to boost the economy of the state, the North-East zone, and the nation at large,” he said. President Goodluck Jonathan is expected in the state on March 29, for the PDP North-East Zonal rally. While in the state, the president will also inaugurate the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, as well as inspect the hospital’s Trauma Centre.