- As Sirika explains relocation of control tower, fire service
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said the new Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) terminal is a significant milestone and will be a catalyst for economic growth and well as sustain development for civil aviation.
The president made this known earlier today at the commissioning of the new terminal building stating that government remained committed to make Nigeria, a regional headquarters for aviation.
This is just as the Minister has said that the control tower and the fire service building will be relocated as soon as funds are made available for the building as soon as the counterpart funding is paid
He commended the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and his team on effectively delivering on the promise made of the 26th of October when the Port Harcourt International Airport Terminal was commissioned, that the NAIA will be commissioned before the year’s end.
The President said,”With the commissioning of this Terminal, Nigeria is moving towards achieving and meeting global aviation standards in facilitation, passenger processing and service delivery in tandem with international best practices.
‘This Administration recognizes aviation as a catalyst for economic growth and as such will continue to encourage and support the actualization of projects that will place Nigerian Airports amongst the best in the world.
This event today, reflects Government’s deliberate policy to sustain the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure. We are gradually closing the infrastructural deficit bedevilling our country.
He further buttressed the fact that the NAIA is the first to be connected to rail transport.
“Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Terminal is the first airport terminal to be connected to rail transport system in the Country and indeed in the region. This has provided passengers and other airport users with a choice in the mode of transport to and from the city centre. I recall taking a ride from the City Metro station to the Airport on the day the rail line was commissioned.
“I wish to assure you therefore, that Government remains committed to developing Nigeria into Regional air transportation hub and thereby assuming its leadership in the aviation sub sector in Africa,” he said.
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, who gave a goodwill message, said for Nigeria, improving infrastructure is a key and security priority.
He said,” They say Nigeria is a huge construction site and being here for the last two years, I have seen and I agree. The relationship between Nigeria and China is major and that brotherly relationship has reached strategic heights, and it is unmatched.”
Also speaking,Senator Bala Na’ Abbah who represented the National Assembly, called on the president to facilitate the construction of a second runway for the Abuja airport.
” we congratulate us for the building of the world-class terminal however with the 15million annual passenger traffic terminal, we at the National Assembly want a second runway . It is the desire of the National Assembly for the president to ensure that happens.”
Minister of state, Senator Hadi Sirika, while speaking to reporters on what the terminal commissioning portends for the nation said it was part of plans to finish incompletely projects for the betterment of the nation.
On the timeline for the relocation of the control tower and fire service, Sirika said that as soon as the counterpart funding is paid another tower will be built.
He said, “As soon as the counterpart funding is paid, the money is accessed from the China Exim Bank, we will relocate the fire service and also build another control tower to serve the entire airport and many other things that were not mentioned here today.”
“We will put the facility to use from day one and it will be restricted use. The other side of the terminal is very adequate for now for whatever e want to sue it for, but for the future, if you look at the terminal, it has an open space to accommodate other passengers.”