• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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FG says remodeled airports will boost nation’s GDP

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Stella Oduah, minister of aviation, has said that the 22 Federal Government-owned airports under remodeling programme would boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) when completed.

She said the airports are being remodeled in a bid to galvanise economic activities and enhance international and domestic travel.

It is projected that by 2015 total domestic and international passenger movement in Nigeria would rise from the present 12 million to 16 million and with better airport facilities and commercial offerings at these airports, air travellers would be increasing by at least 10 percent every year.

Oduah said this in her opening speech while the foundation stone for the construction of international terminal at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport was being laid by President Goodluck Jonathan who also commissioned the remodeled domestic terminal at the weekend.

“Nigeria’s aviation industry must take its rightful place in our national life. The industry must become pivotal to the socio-economic development of our country as it is supposed to be and as we proclaim in our vision, we will continue to do what it takes to deliver just such an industry to Nigerians.”

Oduah said the international terminal project in Enugu would be completed in December 2014 and together with perishable terminal. The total cost of the project is N13.3 billion.

She described Enugu as the fastest growing airport in the country and said the new international terminal with a total floor area of 25,000 square meters would have capacity to handle 500,000 passengers per annum.

“On completion of the terminal, this airport will finally answer its name in the real sense of the word, Akanu Ibiam International Airport”, Oduah said.

She disclosed that already two international airlines have indicated interest to operate flights into the Enugu airport, adding that discussion along these lines would continue over the next few months “as we prepare the airport’s infrastructure to meet this demand”.

The minister assured that the remodeling of the 22 Federal Government owned airports would be completed, including the five new international terminals coming on stream in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kano, noting that these were not the only transformation taking place in the aviation sector, but also the aerotropolis projects and the perishable cargo terminal projects.

George Uriesi, managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said the income from every remodeled airport is estimated to increase by 500 percent because of revenues that would accrue from the non-aeronautical sources as shops and other business structures have been expanded at each of the airports and with improvement of facilities more people would be attracted to the airports and more people would travel.

 

SADE WILLIAMS