Chinazor Megbolu |
The Federal Government of Nigeria has mapped out plans to build 10 new airports across Nigeria in a bid to boost business in aviation industry.
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, disclosed this in Abuja during the 2021 budget defence by the ministry and its agencies before the Senate Committee on Aviation.
The minister stated that the type of airports to be built would be a replica of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
He also noted that the civil aviation so far, had witnessed tremendous growth, adding that the number of airports in Nigeria has risen.
According to him; “there are airports coming up in Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Lafia, Damaturu, Anambra and so forth. All of these show that civil aviation is growing during this administration”.
Sirika further hinted that the executive arms of government and the National Assembly had done justice to the civil aviation industry since 2015 when the present administration came on board through the development of a roadmap, which was being implemented.
He maintained that the reason behind the new development to build new airports was due to the growth witnessed by the aviation industry under the present administration.
“So, we have about 10 new airports coming up; that is almost half the number of airports we used to have in Nigeria. We are adding 50 per cent of the number of airports,” he said.
Sirika also posited that Kebbi, Osubi, Dutse, Jigawa States airports were taken over by the Federal Government while the Gombe State Government had also written the federal authorities to take over the Gombe airport.
However, the Minister averred that the national carrier, Nigeria Air, was part of the Aviation sector roadmap, that would be delivered before 2023.
“We are on it. The transaction adviser has brought in the outline business case. It is being reviewed by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
“Soon after its completion, it will go to the Federal Executive Council for approval. We will not leave this government without having it in place,” he said.
On building another airport in Lokoja, Kogi State, as alternate to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, he said: “Lokoja is an important Northern town. Lokoja is a cosmopolitan town, it’s a mini Nigeria and it is extremely very important in growth and development of our country.
“We have a lot of agricultural activities around there. There is fishery, there is perishable items production and so on.
“So sitting an airport there is quite apt. For me, it is something we should have done long ago for its importance”.
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