This is just as he has directed, with immediate effect, the suspension of the Nigeria Air project, the concession project stressing that he owes it to the government and Nigerians to give honest assessment.
The minister equally revealed that to create space for the Apron it would do what it can to relocate existing Dominion and EAN hangars but that government would also do an emergency procurement to ensure buses are provided to transit international passengers to and from where the wide- body aircraft can park and disembark.
On the Nigeria Air and concession suspension, the Minister said, “ There were issues on ground before I came in. The issues of concession and all that, now I have suspended all of that including the issue of Nigeria Air. I have given a directive to suspend everything pending a review until I brief the President. The duty I owe Mr. President is honesty. I am looking at all the agreements and everything signed to correctly advise Mr. President. My loyalty is to the president and the Nigerian people.
Clarifying on the relocation of airlines to the new Chinese terminal, Keyamo said, the terminal was big enough and all airlines can relocate their counters there while the old international airport is shut.
According to him, the old terminal cannot be adequately fixed if they keep managing clusters of maintenance here and there and due to the fact that it is in use while those maintenance are carried out.
He said a serious overhaul would take place but it needs to be shut while facilitation relocates to the new terminal.
“And we have this old terminal that the Chinese built. Nigerians have been asking why the new terminal is not put into use. The simple reason is that I don’t know how this new terminal was designed. It has a provision to take big planes. I don’t know how it happened. I’ve been asking questions about how they would design an international gateway like the Lagos terminal without a provision to take the big planes; it doesn’t have the aviobridges that can link to the big planes. That has been the reason why we have not been using this new terminal and that’s why Nigerians have been asking that question.
He lamented that the airport accounts for 60% of the revenue generated and is left in disrepair.
“Meanwhile, 60 per cent of the revenue of FAAN comes from the Lagos Airport. The Lagos gateway is one of the major gateways into the country. So what is the solution to this? We have said we must use what we have for now. I’m giving the international and all the other airlines up to October 1 to move from the old terminal to the new terminal. What we are going to do temporarily is that we are going to shut down the old terminal and sort out all the issues regarding the renovation of the old terminal.”
He said the temporal plan is `to ensure passengers get the comfort of a better terminal and enjoy their experience.
“For now, the temporary arrangement we want to make and for the comfort of Nigerians we have to find a way to use the new terminal built by the Chinese even without the big planes coming in because there are no aviobridges for them to use and the gate bridges for the passengers to pass. So like it’s done in many other countries we are going to do emergency procurement to buy the big buses. So we are going to put them in buses and move them to where the big planes stop in an orderly fashion, both the arrival and departure so that Nigerians can have some sort of comfort with this new facility.”