The Federal Government and Chinese investors have reached an agreement for the latter to build state-of-the-art terminals at four major airports in Nigeria, including Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt (in Rivers State).
The projects, THISDAY 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, according to a source, who disclosed this to THISDAY.
Although the terms of agreement reached between the FG and the investors are not yet made public, but a reliable source said that it would be on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis, so “they are going to provide all the funds needed for the project under private, public partnership (PPP)”.
The deal was said to have been signed by the Minister of Finance, Dr (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on behalf of the Federal Government, and the project is expected to kick off soon.
The four 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.
The source said, “Chinese investors have indicated interest to invest in our airports and they are going to build four terminals at the airports in Kano, Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The Minister of Finance has signed the contract and it will take off soon. That is a good development for our airports.
“They are providing the money so we will not bother about funding it and it is state-of-the-art terminals with advanced technology. We need such terminals in our airports now, at least to move on with the rest of the world,” the source added.
The prototype of the terminal has already been obtained and the Federal Government has agreed to provide free land for the project at the four airports, and because of the expected expanse of the terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, it would be built a distance away from the existing international terminal at the airport, but would share the same runway. The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, said in her recent ministerial briefing in Abuja that government would build four new terminals and the projects would kick off soon.
In a recent interview she 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 added.