The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah on Thursday said that the Federal Government has approved the sum of N106 billion for the construction of 11 new international airport terminal buildings in Nigeria.
Mrs Oduah, who disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, said that the amount was approved at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.
She said the new international terminal projects were different from the on-going remodelling and reconstruction of 11 airports in the country.
The Minister said the 11 new projects would include five international terminals for commercial flights and six for perishable cargoes.
She said that the FEC had given approval for the award of contracts for the “immediate take off of construction work on the five terminals for international flights.
“They are Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu.”
The six perishable cargo terminals will be in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Asaba.
Mrs Oduah said that the projects were part of the government’s plans to achieve its transformation agenda in the aviation sector.
“The second phase in our implementation strategy of the Road Map which falls under the medium term programme of action is the construction of five new international terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu.
“Only yesterday (Wednesday), we achieved a significant milestone in this regard when Mr President and the FEC graciously granted approval for the award of contract for the immediate take-off of construction work on these terminals.
“For us as a ministry and government, we consider this development a huge opportunity to put to practical effect, the present administration’s Transformation Agenda,” Mr Oduah said.
The minister said that the first phase of the remodelling and construction of 11 airports would be completed in the next 90 days, while the contract for the second phase of another 11 airports would take two years before completion.
She said the projects were to be executed with a concessionary loan from China Nexim Bank in 22 years with 5 years moratorium at an interest rate of 2 per cent adding that mobilisation to site by the contractors was expected to commence in the next 90 days.
“What this means is that before the end of the lifespan of this administration, we would have been able to bequeath to Nigerians the airports of their dreams.
“Our dream is to also strive to transform Nigeria’s aviation sector into a major contributor to the nation’s GDP and the airports are pivotal to the actualisation of this dream.
“The award of contracts for the construction of the new international airport terminals will, therefore, be a significant first step in this direction,” she said.
Eleven airports are currently undergoing reconstruction nationwide. These airport include: Murtala Muhammed International Airport and the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa; the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
Others are Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, Yakubu Gowon Airport, Jos; the airports in Yola, Kaduna and Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.
Reinstatement of Dana airline
The Minister reacted to the recent lifting of the suspension imposed on Dana airline over the 3 June 2012 air crash which killed over 153 people in Lagos.
Mrs Oduah said the federal government lifted the suspension of the airline following the report of a technical audit of the operator which did not indict the company.
Although she expressed pain over the unfortunate incident, the Minister said the government was not under any pressure to restore the airline’s operating licence as she assured Nigerians and the travelling public that safety remains a major priority of the federal government.