November 10, 2018

SHAME OF A NATION: Passengers, stakeholders outraged over incessant power outage at Lagos Airport


By Lawani Mikairu

Passengers using the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and aviation stakeholders who use the international airport terminal have condemned the frequent electricity outages, sometimes lasting hours, at the international airport.

Recall on Wednesday evening, the airport and the staff housing quarters around the airport was thrown into darkness that lasted for an hour. Passengers who were processing their departure flight and those arriving the country had to endure the darkness as they waited until electricity was eventually restored.

However, a major aviation stakeholder, who was former commandant of the Lagos Airport, who immediately reacted to the power outage said : “FAAN is expected to have independent power line from Ikeja and Ayobo transmission lines as planned for Muritala Muhammed Airport, MMA, in 2007; what has happened to that proposal? This is a shame on all of us including the NCAA”.

“Again, how did NCAA certify MMA if the power problem that could affect the airport safety facilities has not been resolved? We have a long way to go with the NCAA safety oversight functions”, he fumed.

One of the passengers who was trapped in the Wednesday night total blackout on his way to Europe, Mr Alex John, said he sometimes feel ashamed being a Nigerian because of the way he has been embarrassed at the airport any time he comes to receive his international business associates at the airport.

According to John , “ My friend asked me if there is no electricity at the gateway to your country, how can one expect light in your cities ? How do you do business in this country ? . I had to assure them that standby generators are normally provided in business premises. Can you imagine that” ?

Another passenger told Saturday Vanguard that those in charge of Lagos Airport should be sacked. He said: “ what does it take to provide standby generators to power this airport ? Are they not collecting revenue here from the services they are rendering to international airlines and passengers ? Until we learn to do the right thing, we will remain the laughing stock of the international community.”

Reacting to the power outage, the General Manager, Public Affairs, FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu said the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN has contacted the South West Regional Manager in charge of the airport who has confirmed to her that power has been restored to the airport.