The Minister of State for Aviation,Hadi Sirika has hinted that the government is considering the concessioning of the airports and it intends to start with the Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports.
The minister gave this hint on Monday during the presentation of the vision and plan of the aviation sector to stakeholders.
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Speaking on the Abuja airport, he said: “If we are able to concession, our plan is to put alongside this airport, an entirely new airport with runways and then the old airport can be used for either domestics or region operation. This will make us to have two runways.
He also spoke of plans to shutdown the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja over the decaying infrastructure.
Justifying the planned closure, the minister observed that the Abuja airport runway remains a source of embarrassment owing to its dilapidated state.
Specifically, the minister said: “The infrastructure at the airports are dilapidated, and I was tempted this morning to close down the airport and I probably will, I probably will for sure.”
Speaking further, he said: “We are focusing on safety and security.
We cannot afford mistakes because it could endanger lots of lives. Oftentimes, those who are not aviators are after seeing nice edifice and they say it is the gateway to the nation and it creates a lot of impression and all that but we must ensure that we fly securely and safely.”
While decrying the porous nature of the perimeter fences across the airports in Nigeria, Sirika said: “We set up a committee to access the security situations and I’ll tell you that the outcome of the committee is not a pleasant story to tell.
Aside Port Harcourt, nearly all the perimeter fences are gone in most places and they can easily be accessed which will end up becoming a threat to the safety of the industry. you can easily walk into the airport .”
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