Nigeria, in a strong move to increase the contribution of the aviation sector to its GDP, has approved the sum of 106 billion naira ($707 million), through the Federal Executive Council (FEC), for the construction of five new, world-class international airports.
The country’s Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah disclosed the development during a media briefing in Abuja. Upon assuming office, the minister had penned the construction of five new international terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu as the second phase in the ministry’s development strategy for the aviation sector which had been struggling with debts, lack of qualified personnel, below industry standard operations, among others.
In September, Nigeria’s national carrier, Air Nigeria sacked a substantial number of its employees, leaving only a staff of 50 to try to resuscitate its shut down operations within a year, after management was mounted with overbearing debts.
In June, a Dana Airlines plane lost power and crashed into a Lagos apartment building, killing all 159 persons on board.
As the country celebrates its 52nd independence, the government strives to deliver on its promise to provide enviable international airports, safegaurd lives and property and improve economy with the revamping of its aviation sector.
The minster, who said she would soon travel to China to sign contract for the commencement of the construction of the five new terminals, remarked the infrastructural developments will be a “significant first step” in the delivery of this promise. She added: “This is not even talking about the huge psychological lift this will do to our psyche as a nation.”
According to Oduah, the project has a life span of 2 years and is to be executed with a concessionary loan of 22 years with 5 years moratorium at an interest rate of 2 percent.