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Friday, 10 August 2018

Why FG May Not Be Willing to Complete New Airport Terminals


The federal government may not be willing to provide about N30 billion needed to complete the new airports terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano airports.

While most of the projects are over 80 per cent completed, the terminals at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and that of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja were wrongly located, necessitating that many other structures must be removed before they would be put into use.

In 2013, Nigeria obtained a $500 million facility from the Chinese Exim Bank with additional counterpart funding of $100 million to build four terminals at the four major airports in the country, including the airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano.

About a month ago when President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the train station at the Abuja airport and inspected the new terminal, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Saleh Dunoma, said the terminal in Abuja would be put to use in October.

Dunoma, said major work to be done would be to connect the new terminal to the old one in order to have seamless passenger movement, as the train station, which is located at the new terminal would have to process passengers from both the local and international terminals.

But a study on the infrastructural limitation of the airport, funded by the Ministry of Transportation, disclosed that there are many facilities that must be relocated before the terminal would become operational.

The report which was carried out by Arcaid, Architects and Environmental Consultants, revealed that the new airport terminals built at the cost of $600 million (N2.16 billion) are inadequate for targeted passenger traffic and lack essential facilities.

The report of the studies disclosed that to provide the infrastructure lacking in the terminals, government has to deploy over $500 million.

This would be in addition to the funds needed to destroy and relocate fire service in Abuja and Lagos airports, the control tower, reinforcement of power supply and others.

Details of the report disclosed that adequate feasibility study was not carried out before locating the terminals at the Abuja and Lagos airports where it obstructed the fire service and the control tower respectively.

The studies also revealed that essential facilities that were absent in the new terminals included landside link, which ought to link the new terminal to the old, drop off canopy, access roads, apron and taxiway, water treatment upgrade and power improvement equipment.

This was acknowledged by the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who regretted that more money would be spent on the projects.

Sirika had explained that the planning of the project did not envisage that the building would lead to additional works, power and water supply, adding that it was also discovered that the building would block both the control and fire towers which would require relocation, so additional work was required to link it with the existing terminal as well as expanding the apron to accommodate bigger air planes.

“The contractor has told us some of the challenges he has been facing regarding some of the components of work and some additional works required for this project to be put into use. “Unfortunately, some of these components are complex which would delay this job and some of them are from the foundation like that of the sewer and water.

“There is also the problem of the control tower blocking the access into the terminal apron and also the inadequate nature of the apron itself,” Sirika said.

It was learnt that FAAN officials are happy that operations would start in the new terminals where modern equipment has been installed and where passenger facilitation would be done with modern facilities.

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