Buhari seeks speedy completion of airport concession, second Abuja runway

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has directed the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika,  to accelerate plans towards actualising the ongoing airport concession programme.

He also said spoke about the need for a second runway at the Abuja airport.

Buhari spoke when he opened the new international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, on Tuesday.

During his address at the inauguration of the new terminal, the President disclosed that the Abuja second runway was being fast-tracked, saying he had directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to source special funding for the project.

According to him, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory has the responsibility of concluding the titling of the approved 12,000 hectares of land to accommodate the runway and other developmental projects.

He further reiterated his government’s commitment towards investing in long-lasting infrastructure in aviation, road and rail transportation, agriculture, telecommunications, and other critical sectors.

He said the investments had already begun to yield massive results, noting that Nigerians are now attesting to these benefits of the dividends of democracy.

He said, “This event is an eloquent testimony to the strong commitment of our administration to the development of world-class infrastructure across all sectors of the Nigerian economy.”

“Our continuous investment in the building of long-lasting infrastructure in the aviation, road and rail transportation, agriculture, telecommunications, and other critical sectors is yielding massive results, and the people of Nigeria are now increasingly attesting to benefiting from the associated dividends.”

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the end game was to grow the aviation sector’s contribution from the current 0.6 per cent to five per cent ( approximately $ 14.166b).

He also said IATA projects the air transport market in Nigeria is forecast under the ” current trends ” scenario to grow by 174 per cent in the next 20 years.

Sirika also asked Buhari to prevail on the Central Bank of Nigeria to release $$283m of foreign airlines’ blocked funds.

Article first published on the Punch Website

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