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Funding stalls completion of MMIA, PHIA modernisation project

It would seem that funding is now a major bane militating against the completion of some airport modernization projects at the international wings of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa according to facts revealed during a visit by the permanent secretary in the ministry of aviation, Mrs. Binta Bello.

Mrs. Binta Bello, Perm Sec,Ministry of Aviation

Nigerian Flight Deck   learnt that Mrs.  Bello had a paid a visit to Lagos and Port Harcourt at the weekend and embarked on inspection tour of ongoing projects at the airport.
At the power house of the Lagos Airport issues arising from funding came up and the fact that the contractor, Messrs Mantrac Nigeria Ltd had suspended work because it was being owed.
Consequently, some generating plants were not operating as the contractor insisted on reimbursement before he would return to site.
At the new protocol lounge near the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) where about 80 per cent of the work had been done, she was informed that the contractor was also being owed, hence work was suspended.
Besides, she was told that even as the contractor had suspended work until further payment was made contract for the landscaping of the surrounding was yet to be awarded.
At PHIA, the contractor handling the construction of the departure and arrival halls of the airport, Messrs Inter Bau Construction Ltd said work on phase 1 (departure) was between 80-90 per cent completion while work on phase 2 (arrival) “is almost nil.”
Chairman of the Company, Sir Nath Okechukwu said in an interview that the second phase of the project was awarded at the cost of N1.7 billion adding that the last time he received payment for the work was in 2013.
“In phase 1, we have done about 80-90 per cent and phase 2 is almost nil. In phase 1, our money got exhausted; we don’t have money, we have to suspend work. In phase 2, the total sum then was N1.7 billion, but it has gone up though we don’t know how much we are coming up with.
“We hope very soon they will make some payments so that we may go back to work. The owner of the project has just finished inspection. When she gets back to Abuja then we will know what she is coming up with,” he said.
He assured that “if money is made available, we will deliver the project(s) before the current administration marks its first 100 days in office.”
Nevertheless, the permanent secretary said her mission was to see the projects to know the stages of completion in relation to money spent on them so far.
On funding of the projects inspected, Bello assured that “we will look at it and as soon as money is available, the contractors will be mobilized to sites.”

On the new terminals at the airports and the level of completion, Bello said: “Work is progressing very well. I am actually happy with what I have seen; I have seen the determination to improve infrastructure at the airports and we are taking what we have seen back to Abuja. I’ve been told they had some challenges during the take off of the projects. They have overcome most of them and they are working very hard to close the gaps created by man hours lost. I am satisfied with the work done so far; if they didn’t have initial challenges they would have gone further than where they are,” she said.

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