MANAGING Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, has said that in the past three years since he took the reins of office, he and his team have been trying to fix over 40 years abandonment and lack of investment in Nigerian airports.
This is just as he says one legacy he would love to live behind is to ensure those coming after him would meet better airports and follow his lead to continue from where he left off with regards fixing aged facilities and putting structures in place to ensure this circle continues.
Yadudu clocked three years in office in May said in his three years in office, FAAN has embarked on major repair of ageing equipment and components from the abandoned runway and airfield lighting at the MMA to others stressing that some of the facilities were last replaced in either 1980 or 1985.
He said, “Some of the equipment we have are ageing. Some of them are even 40 years and above. As the current management in FAAN, we want to make sure that anybody who comes as the next Managing Director of FAAN, we want to make their job easier. We are going out of our way to make sure we do our own. Now, we are fixing the 18L. You cannot land on 18L at night; now the contractor is back. He was supposed to finish in March, but the cables he had were of low qualities and we are insisting on original ones. So, he said he will fix it by June or latest July.
“So, after nine years, we are fixing some of these things that were abandoned and we are also starting new ones, including baggage handling, the central cooling system and others. We contacted the airfield lighting company in Europe to fix the new ones, overhaul the whole airfield lighting system, there was no overhaul in 42 years. That is also in the process. We are fixing things so that those that come after us will get things easier.
“Within the last three years, we have embarked on major repair of ageing equipment and components. I gave you an example in Lagos; abandoned runway and airfield lighting. Also, the key elements at MMA and any other airports that were old, but now, we are replacing them. Some were last replaced in either 1980 or 1985.
“Now, we are replacing them. It is only the air-conditioning system that we have not yet procured, but we are processing it and the airfield lighting, but all other basic ones –disable aircraft, baggage handling and other basic ones that the people see every day, we have started with them. The avio bridges, we have started with them and that is in terms of infrastructure.
“We set up a committee last year because we saw that most of the facilities are aged. These equipment were supposed to be replaced every 15 years, but some have gone 25 to 30 years. So, we have a committee that is working and they are almost completing it. They gave us the state of the equipment for all the airports so that we can make use of it, work with the ministry and use it to know their status so that we can plan.
“This year, we will work in Akure, Borno, Sokoto airports and next year, we will work in Port Harcourt, Benin and Yola. We don’t have all the money to fix all the problems at once, but we will do the entire airports gradually. So, when I leave here, those coming after me will be making use of them.” He said.