1. State of Aviation plans to rehabilitate 13 airports in Nigeria
In its continued bid to make Nigeria a regional hub in West Africa and indeed Africa, the Federal Government is not looking back on its determination to totally effect a reconstruction of the Nation’s busiest international portal, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos or MMIA.
Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika made the government’s intentions known, while decrying the massive mis-spend of the $500m facility recently procured from the Chinese Export-Import bank in order to rehabilitate 13 airports nationwide. The aviation boss regretted the strategy of trying to fix all the country’s broken airports at the same time with the funds. They would been put to better use if instead the money had been concentrated on the Abuja and Lagos international airports.
Minister of Aviation, H. Sirika made announcement in a press conference
>>> Hope this plan will help to reduce the number of delayed flights within the country: Up to 8,000 flights in Nigeria got delayed by domestic airlines in Jan-Mar 2019: What NCAA said?
2. Reconstructing MMIA is to transform Lagos into an aerotropolis
The MMIA is 40 years old, and is currently a 300,000 capacity facility. Pushing ahead on government plans to transform Lagos and other key airport cities to a unified “aerotropolis”, a coinage meaning a hub for flight inter-connectivity and travel as an aid to growth, the government’s strategy is to tear down whole sections of the old structure and erect a facility more capable of handling modern air travel demands.
Parts of the current buildings targeted for demolition include the terminal itself, aviation walkways and bridges, electrical installations such as the air conditioning system and elevators, as well as extending two floors of the terminal. The aviation minister cryptically dismissed the MMIA as presently standing, saying “it had outlived its usefulness.”
The new airport project will cost about ₦14billion and will commence just as soon as the new terminal being built on the Chinese funds is completed and in operation. This is to enable free operations of airlines and other activities even while construction is going on. Abuja airport terminal recently underwent similar construction, making for smoother airlines operations there.
Murtala Muhammed International Airport, now a relic?
In closing, the minister lampooned the idea of the federal government handing airports to junior tiers of government for administration. The FG was going the way of private sector involvement as is the norm all over the world. The FG’s decision followed submission of an investigative report by Julius Berger that found that the air travel business had grown too cumbersome for the present facilities to handle efficiently.
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