Home Nigeria Aviation Minister, Festus Keyamo, Stops Nigerian Air Project, Announces Closure of MMIA,...

Aviation Minister, Festus Keyamo, Stops Nigerian Air Project, Announces Closure of MMIA, October 1

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*Nigeria, most valuable African nation brand for 3rd straight year ...By Uche Amunike

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has suspended the controversial Nigerian Air Project and airport concession of the Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano airports kick started by former President Muhammadu Buhari and which had generally elicited controversy .

He has also issued a three month ultimatum to airlines to take out all their unserviceable aircrafts at the airport in order to give room for expansion. According to him, the airlines have been notified to start relocating their ticket sales offices to the new terminal for the commencement of renovation of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

After a tour of the international airport in Lagos, Festus Keyamo, who was in the company of the Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Kabir Yusuf Mohammed, alongside other aviation stakeholders, explained that the major problems experienced by Nigerians or foreigners coming into the country had been the old terminal, which is an eyesore. According to him, the elevators are not working and the entrance is not welcoming.

His words: ‘Air-conditioning systems are not effective, among other things, and we have this new terminal that the Chinese built which is underutilized.’

‘Although, there have been lots of questions as to why the new terminal is not being utilized optimally, the simple reason is that the new terminal was designed without provision to take big planes. I wondered why that happened.’

‘I have been asking questions as to how they would design an international gateway such as the Lagos airport terminal 2 without a provision to take the big planes.’

‘We do not have the avio bridges that can even connect with big planes, which is also a challenge. That has been the problem we have not been using this new terminal’, he stated.

He explained that 60% of revenue made by FAAN is gotten from the Lagos getaway, which is one of the major getaways into the country, reiterating that he would be giving the International Airlines and every other company making use of the facility until October 1st, 2023 to move from the old terminal to Terminal 2.

He explained that his plan was to temporarily shut down the whole terminal and sort out all the problems concerning the renovation. He also assured that he would do emergency procurements to purchase big buses and move them to where the big planes stop in an orderly fashion, just like is done in so many other countries, in both arrival and departure, in order to have some kind of comfort with the new facility.

According to Festus Keyamo, the long term plan is to find a way to build avio bridges for the big bodies coming in.

While speaking about the airport concession and national carrier, the minister said that the project would have to be suspended until further notice. Hear him: ‘There are issues already on ground, before I came in, like concessions, Nigeria Air, among others, all of that for now have been suspended until I brief Mr. President as to what is happening regarding all of those noises.’

‘I always appreciate his honesty. He brought me here to correctly advise him, so I’m looking at all the agreements and everything that was signed to correctly inform him.’

‘I owe my total loyalty to Nigerians to have the best of aviation services and to Mr. President, and that’s what we are doing.’

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