During the commissioning of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi highlighted the agricultural potential in the northern state and explained how air transport can make this serve the country in its entire entirety especially as most of the terminals nationwide are undergoing a massive facelift.
Sanusi also said that agriculture partnering with the fastest mode of transportation, aviation would no doubt jumpstart economic growth of the North being that agriculture is the highest employer of labour and aviation will enable produce to be sold effortlessly.
The CBN boss made these explanations while commissioning the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) stating that aviation no longer fends for just airlifting human beings as cargo is now a major revenue earner in any case.
He said, “For me, as an economist and as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria; that (dry and perishable cargo terminal) is the most important and visionary step that the Aviation Minister has taken. Airports are not just to carry human beings from Lagos to Kano; it is not just there to make travel easy and comfortable experience for individuals…
“Kano is an agricultural state. It used to contribute 60 per cent of the total revenue of the northern region. The only way agriculture is going to come back is for farmers to be linked to the markets. “
“I will give you a simple example; I have had the benefit of looking through some tomato survey, feasibility study. There was somebody that I consulted and he said to me, do you know that tomato actually costs more in Lagos and Port Harcourt than in London. In other words, if a farmer can produce tomato in Kadawa and put it on a plane every morning in Kano to get to Lagos or Port Harcourt he should earn more than you will get it in the supermarket in the UK.”
All the agriculture potential would not have even been noticed if the airport was left to rot in the state it was prior the remodelling as it was largely abandoned with complaints of alleged scarcity to funds coupled with mismanagement and long lack of maintenance.
Minister after Minister had come and gone seeing the dismal state of this iconic airport without doing anything worse still some have even put the airport on the plan for rehabilitation but in truth, nothing had been done keeping the airport perpetually under-developed and making airlines that used to fly there stop operations.
Lots of airlines, foreign and domestic, stopped using that airport due to its demise in economic activities and deteriorating state of facilities for operations and activities there have become a shadow of its past.
The Kano airport which was once a total wreck has been transformed entirely into an ultra-modern superstructure that will rival any terminal anywhere in the world
The new Kano terminal boasts of very spacious arrival and departure lounges, meeters and greeters, very beautiful protocol lounges and is still undergoing massive expansion.
According to the regional manager of North, Ali Nock, the gigantic and fantastic structure that has sprung from the ashes of the old terminal like a phoenix is something that needs to be applauded, as it has shown that with the right people in place things will move normally.
He also reiterated the fact that a lot of ministers have passed through the terminal with a lot of promises but lacked the political will to follow through.
On power generation, he said it has increased at the terminal and what used to be is no more.
The MAKIA has gone from the relic it was described as in 2010 to a terminal that currently dwarfs so many others and even airport users are commending the effort of federal government.
There was even the conveyor belt that would take almost a year to send out baggage, it has been replaced and a new one put in its place.
As of today, the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport has seen expansion that has almost tripled its size and increases its capacity. There was a massive expansion in the length and width of the airport providing segments that were not there hitherto.
Apart from the expansion, MAKIA Arrival and Departure points have taken the most incredible facelift, with the bricks that made up the terminal broken down and replaced by steel and glass which also contributes to the aesthetics of the over 50 years old terminal.
The Cargo area of the airport has also been reconstructed and will be fitted with top class security apparatus once it is done.
Sanusi also said that the upgrades that have become apparent at the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano has shown what it truly means to deliver the dividends of democracy and provide for the people.
This is just as he commended the Federal Government’s resolve to actually remodel airports around the country stating that the move would contribute significantly in the growth of the nation’s economy.
The CBN governor made this known at the weekend when he commissioned the newly remodelled international terminal at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano stating that as governor of the apex bank, he loved supporting public officers that do well.
He said, “Many people have asked me, how come the Central Bank of Nigeria seems to be always constantly supporting aviation. The reason is that Central Bank of Nigeria supports public servants that are doing something. And the advantage of doing something is that people can like you or not like you; they may agree with you or not agree with you; they cannot take away from you what you have achieved. There is no one that can go to Kano airport or Kaduna airport or Enugu airport or Port Harcourt airport or Lagos airport and claim that things are not happening. And frankly that is what we need from public officers…build the roads, build the airports, build the bridges, build the infrastructure, build the schools, do what you should do and let the population take over.”