- MMIA, MAKIA terminals to be delivered before year’s end
MINISTER of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika while defending the ministry’s budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation disclosed that, Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, undergoing rehabilitation has been extended and will be ready for use by April 2020.
This is just as the minister also announced that the new terminal building for the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in Kano will be ready before the end of the year.
The minister who had appeared before the committee on October 10, said the repairs would have been completed by Christmas (2019), since many people would be travelling home then but announced the extension stating that although the President approved the sum of N10billion, the monies are yet to be released.
He however said for the new date of April to be feasible, he will be relocating his office to the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu temporary to directly supervise the rehabilitation of the airport which he said will be completed before the end of April 2020.
He further said that the contractors are expected to mobilize to site as soon as possible, adding that the President has already directed all agencies associated with the smooth work on the airport to work together to ensure it was delivered on time.
The Minister disclosed that the rehabilitation work on the Enugu airport will be done in such a way that the airport will be the best in the country, adding that all houses located close to the airport may have to give way for increased safety.
He said that the Enugu state governor has given assurance that he will swing into action to ensure that conducive atmosphere is provided for the rehabilitation of the airport and ask the lawmaker to always visit the airport to access progress of work.
On the delays on the remaining two Chinese-Nigeria counter funded Terminals in Lagos and Kano, Senator Sirika said the delays in the completion of the terminal building in Lagos are being addressed with the approval of funds by the President.
He said once the Ministry is able to complete the new terminal building, the old one will be brought down to pave way for a new structure and appealed to the lawmakers for their cooperation in the efforts of the Ministry ensure the nation’s airports are safe.
He told the House Committee that there were challenges with the new terminals being built with the $500M loan from the China Exim Bank, which include changes in structural design of the airports, foundation footing and escalators; provisions for the biggest modern aircrafts; change in departure and arrival floors to rhyme with the railway station; provision of adequate power supply to ensure all facilities are put to use and relocation of the Control Tower and the Fire Service Station
He said: “the above has resulted in the need for variation and additional works to the tune of $461,795,551.02 which has been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“The China Exim Bank has indicated willingness to consider funding the above additional works and we have written to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to provide for the Sum of $73,887,288.16 (N22,535,622,888.00 @N305/$) as counterpart fund in 2019 outside the Ministry’s proposed FGN Budget.
“The President has graciously approved 50% of this Sum and in 3months we are expecting the balance of the remaining 50% of the money.
“For the 2020 Budget Proposal, we have also approach the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to provide the counterpart funding for remedial/additional works and completion of four Chinese terminals at Kano, Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt (($51 ,800,266.99)(N15,850,881,698.94) has been approved by Mr. President.