Buhari Inaugurates Port Harcourt Int’l Airport Terminal
President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the $600 million new international terminal of the Port Harcourt International Airport funded by China Export Import Bank loan and the Nigerian government.
The terminal building is one of the four, which include Abuja, Kano and Lagos being constructed by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC).
Buhari said the new international terminal would address the increasing international air travel needs of the country, adding that the increase in population had also added impetus.
He said that since the existing terminals in all the major airports in the country were opened in late 1970s and early 1980s, not much had been done to increase their handling capacities by successive administrations.
The president said that the completion of the project was in line with his administration’s commitment to completing all ongoing projects initiated by his predecessors in the transport sector.
Buhari said the construction of four international terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano were embarked upon by the Federal Government with a view to modernising the aging airport infrastructure, maintaining the global aviation standard and improved service delivery in tandem with international best practices.
He expressed confidence that the new terminal would help to enhance the economic activities in the state and commended the people for their patience during the construction period.
Buhari said that the recent decision by the Federal Government to remove Value Added Tax (VAT) from domestic air transportation was to make air travel more affordable to the citizens.
According to him, the removal of the VAT was also meant to create job opportunities in the nation’s aviation sector.
The Nigerian leader explained that the government’s decision to charge zero VAT from domestic air transportation was in line with global best practices.
In his speech, Governor Nyesom wike of Rivers State, said the Rivers people and the entire Niger Delta region were happy that the project was completed and inaugurated.
According to Wike, what has happened today shows that the state is safe for people to come and invest.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, said the project was executed through partnership with the Chinese government, involving 500 million dollar loan from Chen Exim Bank and 100 million dollars counterpart funding from Nigerian government.
Sirika said the airport had the capacity to process seven million passengers annually.
According to him, the administration has achieved milestone in the implementation of its aviation road map.
Deputy Director, Media and Public Affairs