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Government to invest in power of 10 new airports

Posted 7 June 2021 · Add Comment

Nigeria has announced plans to significantly increase airport facilities throughout the country. Alan Dron reports.

Hadi Sirika: “So far, about seven airports have been added to the map, some of them completed, others under construction.” Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

The Nigerian Government has launched ambitious plans to boost the country’s airport provision.

Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, said that 10 new airports will be built across the country, as part of a continuing plan to increase the ability of citizens and visitors to easily access air travel.

A construction initiative of this scale will increase the number of airports in Africa’s most populous country by close to 50%, he said.

The minister, appearing before the Nigerian Senate’s aviation committee to explain his ministry’s 2021 budget proposals, did not give precise locations for the planned new facilities, but said they would be located in several states, including Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, and Gombe.

He added that existing airports in the states of Kebbi, Osubi, and Dutse would be refurbished, but did not make clear whether the rejuvenated airports were being counted as part of the overall total of 10.

Repeated attempts to obtain clarification from the aviation ministry by African Aerospace were unsuccessful, but it is believed that regional governments will have a role in the creation of airports in their own states.

Sirika said that the building of new airports was part of the recovery plan for the country’s civil aviation sector instigated in 2015 by president Muhammadu Buhari’s government. “From 2015 till now, we’ve seen a lot of growth in civil aviation, the number of airports is increasing. So far, about seven airports have been added to the map, some of them completed, others under construction,” said the minister.

He added that the government was tackling the problem of outdated or unserviceable equipment at existing Nigerian airports, but that this had to be handled one airport at a time, depending on their safety requirements, due to funding limitations.

Sirika reiterated the need for Nigeria to improve its airport infrastructure during a virtual conference with African aviation specialists in February, noting that: “We need to put in place enabling policies to ensure that our aviation sector is effectively positioned to be the air transport hub for Africa.”


 

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