Chinese investors are billed to start construction work on the building of five state-of-the-art terminals at five major airports in Nigeria in the next three months. The airports include that of Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Enugu and Port Harcourt.
Stella Oduah, Aviation Minister, had in the last quarter of 2012 disclosed that the government had secured N102 billion loan from the Chinese NEXIM Bank to execute the projects.
Speaking on Monday, George Uriesi, managing director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), who made the construction date known in Lagos at the commissioning of ‘Things Remembered’ ultra modern restaurant at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in Lagos, disclosed that the “investors could start work by June if the final signature concerning the project are put on papers this month”.
According to him, “We hope that by June they could take off because we have almost put finishing touches to the projects, we expect that we sign the final papers this month. To prove critics wrong, we are telling Nigerians that this is a government that is bent on changing things”, he said.
The projects, BusinessDay learnt, are planned to be completed before the end of this administration. The terminals would not only meet international standards but also rival the best in the world.
The five airports where the terminals are designated are the busiest in the country and with the growth of passenger movement in air transport in Nigeria, the existing terminals, industry experts say, would soon be too small for the teeming passengers especially on international destinations.
Oduah had said that the present administration wants to provide modern airports that Nigerians would be proud of and that has started with the remodelling efforts and now new terminals.
“What we are doing is to ensure that passengers have value for their money and most importantly we want every Nigerian and stakeholders to be proud of our airport environment. It’s a total transformation of the aviation sector,” she said.
She had said in the last quarter of last year that the projects would commence within the next three months and are expected to be completed within 24 months.
According to her, the projects are to be executed with a concessionary loan of 22 years with five years moratorium at an interest rate of two percent.
She explained that the projects were approved at the last Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting and that the loan was granted by Chinese NEXIM Bank.
“As we travel round the world, we see and admire international airports in other countries and wish that our nation could boast of just one that can truly go by the name international airport”, she said.