By Lawani Mikairu
The Muritala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos was in the early hours of yesterday thrown into complete darkness as there was a total power outage at the airport.
The terminal, where both incoming and outgoing passengers are processed, was without light. A video clip of the outage sent to Vanguardearly Wednesday morning showed passengers bumping into each other in the darkness as they were trying to get their luggage and go through the Customs process.
A user of the MMIA, Mr Tunde Ojo, who told Vanguard that he witnessed the power outage, said it was a big shame. According to him, ”I escorted a friend who was travelling out of the country this morning (yesterday) to the airport. I was terribly embarrassed when the airport was plunged into darkness. My friend, who has been reluctant to come home turned and told me; “you see the country where you want me to come and settle. How can an international airport not have a standby generator?”
Ojo further said he has been one of those encouraging his friend to return back to Nigeria after several years abroad.
Reacting to the power outage yesterday, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu told Vanguard that: “It is not in the terminal, please. It is in the walkway and it is because there is construction ongoing by CCECC.”
This not the first time the nation’s busiest airport is witnessing embarrassing power outage. On November 2018, passengers were said to have been kept in the dark for hours as immigration officials did not address the anxious crowd. According to Yemisi Adegoke, a BBC reporter who was one of the passengers, the airport did not switch to another alternative power source while the power outage lasted.
Officials were said to have taken foreigners among the passengers to another section of the airport where there was power. Passengers were said to have been frustrated as they could not proceed with the boarding processes. “At Lagos International Airport and there is currently no power…and by the look of it NO GEN,” Adegoke had tweeted.
“Passengers going mad because officials started allowing foreigners to go to the other side of the airport, where there is electricity. One woman was yelling “would they do this for us if we were in their country?”
However, power was later restored while passengers were attended to by immigration officials.