BY LAWANI MIKAIRU
The Minister of Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka has expressed displeasure over the dilapidated state and environmental threat posed by the abandoned underground facilities at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos.
Speaking during the tour of the Lagos Airport facilities, the minister said the abandonment of the underground facilities, which formerly housed the disused Control Center of the Close Circuit Television(CCTV) that monitored movements around all sensitive and sterile areas of the airport complex, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and car park for airport users was a disgrace to the nation.
This is the first time a Minister of Aviation will be inspecting the underground tunnel in the past 14 years. He was shocked at the unkempt nature of the underground facilities and ordered the airport’s management to give the underground facilities a facelift.
The minister also insisted on inspecting the car park, which is also underground at the terminal, suspecting that it would be flooded, and the Acting Airport Manager, South-West, Engr. Noah Sanya told the minister it was flooded.
The minister said: “This thing I am seeing is not good for the image of the country. Look at the facility here, it is flooded. I believe we were not supposed to see this, but we have seen it.”
Chidoka also queried why the arriving passengers at the airport were denied the usage of the arrival drop zone, stressing that the action of the Authority further inconveniences passengers at the airport.
He noted that if departing passengers could be allowed unrestrained access to the terminal’s drop off zone with their vehicles, he wondered why the same gesture could not be extended to the arriving passengers.
The minister said, “You go and put some old buses at the parking area and tell people to board them to the airside. I want to say it here now that you should remove the barrier here, which disallowed arriving passengers from being picked up by their relatives and allow passengers to have access to this place. You can put speed bumps here, which will reduce high speed.”