The Federal Government has approved a sum of N106 billion naira, through the Federal Executive Council (FEC), to commence the construction of five new, world-class international airports.
Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, disclosed this in Abuja during a media briefing to update stakeholders on the development in the aviation sector.
According to her, the Ministry had, on assumption of office, drawn up a roadmap which she explained had three phases in terms of implementation strategy.
She said the first phase or short term agenda was to immediately give a face-lift to Nigerian Airports, explaining that this gave rise to the simultaneous remodelling and construction of 11 airports across the country.
The airports, she stated, include the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) both in Lagos, the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, Abuja and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
Others include Akanu lbiam International Airport Enugu, the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, Margaret Ekpo International Airport Calabar, Yakubu Gowon Airport Jos, the Yola, Kaduna and Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri.
“As at this moment, the projects have reached 80 per cent completion and would be completed and put to use in the few weeks and months. The remaining airports will commence shortly”, she said.
The Minister disclosed that at the end of the exercise, all 22 airports under the management of FAAN would wear a new and modern look.
She further said that the second phase in the implementation strategy of the road map which falls under the medium term programme would be the construction of five new international terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu.
She explained that the FEC approved for the award of contracts for the immediate take-off of construction work on the terminals.
“Following the approval of FEC, we have concluded arrangement to commence construction of five brand new world class international airports. What we have today is not befitting of us as the giant of Africa”, she emphasised.
Oduah maintained that this development must transcend the immediate euphoria that comes with the realisation that Nigeria dreams for standard airport are about to come to fruition.
The Minister stressed that the government’s dream was to strive to transform Nigeria’s aviation sector into a major contribution to the nation GDP as the airports are pivotal to the actualisation of the dream.
“The award of contracts for the construction of the five international airports will be significant first step in this direction. This is not even talking about the huge psychological lift this will do to our psyche as a nation, she said.
She disclosed that the contracts for the construction of the five airports have a life span of 24 months while the projects were to be executed with a concessionary loan of 22 years with 5 years moratorium at an interest rate of 2 per cent.
“Mobilisation to site by the contraction is expected to commence within 90 days. Also the third phase of our implementation strategy is the Aerotroplis project which are airport cities that provide clusters of businesses ranging from manufacturing, information and communication technology (ICT)”, she said.
The minster, who told journalists that she would soon return to China to sign contract for the take off of construction work on the five new terminals, said the lifting of the suspension on Dana Airline was based on government’s satisfaction that the airline was airworthy, after carrying out a technical audit of the operator.