September 6, 2012

FG approves N106bn for construction of new airport terminals

Abuja – The Federal Government has approved N106 billion for the construction of 11 new international airport terminal buildings, Aviation Minister Stella Oduah announced on Thursday.

Oduah told a news conference in Abuja that the amount was approved at the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.

She said the new international terminal projects were different from the ongoing remodeling and reconstruction of 11 airports in the country.

She said the 11 new projects would include five international terminals for commercial flights and six for perishable cargoes.

Odual also said that the FEC had given approval for the award of contracts for the “immediate take off of construction work on the five terminals for international flights.

They are Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

The six perishable cargo terminals will be in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Asaba.

Oduah said that the projects were part of the government’s road map to achieve its transformation agenda in the aviation sector.

“The second phase in our implementation strategy of the Road Map which falls under the medium term programme of action is the construction of five new international terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu.

“Only yesterday, we achieved a significant milestone in this regard when Mr President and the FEC graciously granted approval for the award of contract for the immediate take-off of construction work on these terminals.

“For us as a ministry and government, we consider this development a huge opportunity to put to practical effect, the present administration’s Transformation Agenda,’’ Oduah said.

The minister said that the first phase of the remodeling and construction of 11 airports would be completed in the next 90 days, while the contract for the second phase of another 11 airports would take two years before completion.

She explained that the projects were to be executed with a concessionary loan from China Nexim Bank in 22 years with 5 years moratorium at an interest rate of 2 per cent.

Oduah added that mobilisation to site by the contractors was expected to commence in the next 90 days.

“What this means is that before the end of the lifespan of this administration, we would have been able to bequeath to Nigerians the airports of their dreams.

“Our dream is to also strive to transform Nigeria’s aviation sector into a major contributor to the nation’s GDP and the airports are pivotal to the actualisation of this dream.

“The award of contracts for the construction of the new international airport terminals will, therefore, be a significant first step in this direction,’’ she said.

Oduah said the third phase of the implementation strategy of the aviation transformation was the Aerotropolis project  — airport cities that provide clusters of businesses.

According to her, the Aerotropolis will provide businesses in manufacturing, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) amongst others.

“Recently, we embarked on an international Investors’ Road Show to China, Canada and the United States of America (USA) to market the huge opportunities that abound for investment in the nation’s aviation sector.

“Again, I am very happy to inform you that our team was not only well received in those countries, but also quite significant, is the fact that the trip has begun to yield great results.

“In a few days’ time, I shall be returning to China to sign a contract for the take off of construction work on the five brand new terminals. We shall also use the opportunity to conclude discussions with the investors that have shown tremendous interest and enthusiasm to invest in the Aerotroplis project,’’ Oduah said.

Eleven airports that are currently undergoing reconstruction are Murtala Muhammed International Airport and the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa; the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

Others are Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, Yakubu Gowon Airport, Jos; the airports in Yola, Kaduna and Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.  (NAN)