The poor states of the Nigerian international airports has warrant the Federal Government to take some drastic actions. The government announced on Wednesday, December 23 her plans to concession the management of the Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports to private companies.
Speaking during a fact-finding tour at the Murtala Muhammed airport in Lagos, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the concession of the airports was necessary for them to perform efficiently and be better managed.
Amaechi also said the terminals under construction at the Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports will be completed by December.
He stated that after completion, the Lagos airport would handle 15 million passengers annually.
The minister said, “The new terminal in Lagos will generate additional 15 million passengers annually, making a total of 30 million passengers yearly nationwide. The medium and long-term plans will require significant investments to upgrade and expand infrastructure to meet current and future requirements.
“As a result of limited resources for capital project development, the government is exploring the possibility of private sector participation towards the realisation of the industries’ potential.”
Amaechi said the airports need urgent maintenance. He noted for instance that two of the four conveyor belts at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos have broken down and require replacement.
He said the government requires the participation of private investors in the running of the airport to help manage and build better infrastructures.
He said the government would also enact laws to open up the sector to new investments that would lead to economic prosperity.
“Nigeria suffers the bane of inadequate transportation but perhaps worse than other countries. Nigeria’s huge population puts enormous pressure on a very poor transport infrastructure that bedevils the nation,” he said.