PRESIDENT of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has said government is making deliberate efforts to increase handling capacities and infrastructure of the nation’s transport sector which was not taken care of since the 70s and 80s when they were built.lPresident Buhari made this known today as he commissioned the newly built Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa stating that it was part of his promises to upgrade Nigeria’s transport infrastructure in all geo political zones of the country..
The president said,” Todays commissioning is a significant landmark for international travellers especially those in the South-South region.
Not much was done after these airports were built-in the 70s and 80s to increase handling capacity of the airports and so we needed to take decisive steps to ensure that our terminals meet the minimum international global standards”
“In the 2017 budget, I promised to upgrade Nigeria’s transport and complete a number projects that will be beneficiary to the nation economically and these include construction of new terminals, railways and power projects,” he said.
“Today’s commissioning is a direct policy to sustain economic growth in all geo political zones of the country,” the president stated.
Speaking earlier, Rivers state Governor, Nyeesom Wike assured the president that the people of Rivers State and indeed the South-South are happy with the project stating that it would foster further investment in the state.
Governor Wike said,”I can tell you this today that the people of Rivers State and the Niger Delta are happy with you Mr. President. This terminal here will help the drive of the state to grow the economy and it will attract investment to the state. What has happened here shows that Rivers State is safe, Rivers State is secure and if it was not CCECC will not have been here to construct this.”
Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who spoke earlier explained that when the project commenced in 2014, it was expected to be delivered in two years but when it was inherited in 2015 it was less than 30% due to the inherent challenges that accompanied it but with commitment some of the challenges are rectified and Port Harcourt is the first among four international terminals.
” The project which commenced in2014 is funded by China EXIM Bank for $500million and counterpart funding from Nigeria of $100million. The project was expected to be delivered in two years but was less than 30% when this government came in, lack of apron space, litigations, inadequate power supply were hinderance to the smooth sailing of the project.”
“The president gave approval to rectify all the discrepancies.”
The Port Harcourt International Airport is approximately 28,000metre square and can facilitate 7million passengers annually with 24 check-in counters, 3 baggage collection carousels, 12immigration desks at arrival and 16 immigration desks at departure , four passenger boarding bridges plus remote boarding and arrival to mention a few of the facilities.