- Written by Super User
Buhari commissions 15m capacity International Terminal at Abuja airport
…$69.3m required to complete projects
President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the new Terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. The new terminal designed to handle 15 million passengers in a year is the second in the series of airport terminals commissioned from the projects funded by the China-Exim bank loan of $500m with a counterpart funding of $100m from the debt management office.
From the $100m counterpart funding, the government has only paid $30.7 leaving a debt of $69.3. The $69.3 is expected to boost the speedy completion of the outstanding project which includes the new terminal in Kano and Lagos.
Speaking during the commissioning in Abuja on Thursday, the President said: “It gives me great pleasure to be here for the formal commissioning of the new Terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. This event represents yet another significant milestone for International air travellers in and out of the Federal Capital Territory.
“With the commissioning of this Terminal, Nigeria is moving towards achieving and meeting global aviation standards in facilitation, passenger processing and service delivery in tandem with international best practices.
“This Administration recognises aviation as a catalyst for economic growth and as such will continue to encourage and support the actualization of projects that will place Nigerian Airports amongst the best in the world.
“This event today, reflects Government’s deliberate policy to sustain the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure. We are gradually closing the infrastructural deficit bedeviling our country.
“I am happy to note the progress being made in both the airports and sea ports on the implementation of the Executive Order on the Ease of Doing Business. Government officials manning these gateways are to sustain the momentum and ensure travellers in and out of the country have the best of experience as a necessary complement to the ultra-modern terminal.
“Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Terminal is the first airport terminal to be connected to rail transport system in the Country and indeed in the region. This has provided passengers and other airport users with a choice in the mode of transport to and from the city center.
The President also promised to make Nigeria the aviation hub in the region. According to him: “I wish to assure you that Government remains committed to developing Nigeria into Regional air transportation hub and thereby assuming its leadership in the aviation sub sector in Africa.”
He also commended the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Government of the Peoples Republic of China, CCECC and the China Exim Bank for their financial support and the various roles they played which led to the successful completion of the terminal project.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika urged the present to approve the outstanding $69.3 counterpart needed to complete the terminal in Kano and Lagos.
Speaking on the commissioned terminal, he said: “From political and economic perspectives, this airport is very strategic to Nigeria not only because it is the gateway to the nation’s capital but also because it the second busiest airport in the country and the fastest growing in passenger traffic in West and Central Africa, with an average growth rate of 8%, where the world average growth is 5.8%. The Airport processed 5,709,012 passengers in 2017. This volume equals to about 13 times the total number of passengers recorded by Ghana as a country.
Speaking on the capacity of the terminal and some of its facilities, Sirika said: “The terminal has annual passenger capacity of 15m covering a space of approximately 56,000m2. It also has the following facilities as well as capabilities; 72 check-in counters, five baggage collection carousels, 28 immigration desks at arrival and 16 at departure, eight security screening points, eight passenger boarding bridges, walkway to link the FCT metro rail, additional apron for remote parking of aircraft and link way to domestic wing.”
He also hinted that the $461m recently approved by EFC would fix all outstanding issues at the new Abuja terminal. He said: “Mr President will recall FEC approval of the second tranche for the funding of the phase two of this project in the sum of $461,795,551.02. The phase takes into cognisance, additional facilities that will enhance airport efficiency. These includes but not limited to construction of additional apron, multi-level car park, fire station, additional boarding bridges, connection between the old and the new terminals, facility and boarding bridge to accommodate Airbus A380.”
On the amount needed to complete the terminal in Kano and Lagos, Sirika said: “This is the second in the series of Airport terminals to be commissioned from the projects funded by the China-Exim bank loan of $500m with a counterpart funding of $100m from the debt management office.
“Sir, we are committed to rounding up the project soon, the contractor has gone ahead to implement it as approved, but recently slowed down the pace of work due to non-payment of $69.3m counterpart funding by government. May I respectfully at this point, request Mr President’s kind intervention in this regard, please.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma also said the new terminal would be commissioned as soon as money is released to the contractors.
He said: “Work is in progress in the remaining terminal which is in Lagos and Kano and we believe that as soon as the funding is available, we would put a lot of pressure on the contractor to perform. They are on site now working but we are not satisfied with the speed. We can speed them up if we inject some money into the project.”
The MD also hinted that the new terminal would lead to employment of more personnel needed to handle the volume of aircraft and passenger movement.
“With the volume of passengers coming, we will need to continually increase the number of staff in order to cope with aircraft and passenger movement.
He also said that the old terminal would now be dedicated to domestic and some regional operations.
Deputy Director Press & Public Affairs (Aviation)