FG: Lagos, Abuja airports not designed as international hubs

August 11, 2021
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The federal government says four major airports in Nigeria set aside for concession were not designed as international facilities.

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Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, said this on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ webinar during his presentation on Nigerian Airport Concession Strategy.

In June, the FG had said it would concession the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Malam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers state, for a period of 20-30 years.

Sirika explained that the airports had been put up for concession because they were operating below expectations.

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“The airports in Nigeria are currently operating in a suboptimal environment, most notably due to factors that will have to be improved as part of the public private partnership programme,” he said.

Speaking on the objectives of the concession project, the aviation minister said that there was an urgent need for infrastructure investments and modernisation as all airports required investments in runway maintenance, navigation aids, as well as terminal facilities.

“There is relatively low asset utilisation due to the limited opening hours of other smaller Nigerian airports; lack of terminal capacity as the airports fall short of gates, stands and check-in desks,” Sirika said.

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“The airports have not been designed as international hubs but operate separate international and domestic terminals.”

On transaction advisers for the project, Sirika named them to include Infrata, Dentons, Proserve, Ciena, and Templars.

He described them as reputable firms that would advise the federal ministry of aviation.

Sirika said the concessionaires would provide the investment required to upgrade the existing terminals, take over the new terminals and maintain them over a period of time to be determined based on financial assessment of each transaction.

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