Sirika faults sites of Abuja, Lagos new terminals, after one in office
More than one year after being sworn in as Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has come out to say that the locations of new terminals under construction at two of the busiest airports in the country, Lagos and Abuja are wrong.
While describing the scheme as a waste of fund, he said the new terminal in Abuja alone would require additional N5billion to sort out the mess created by error in location.
The minister, spoke to stakeholders recently, explaining that the current administration was almost at a dilemma on what to do with the terminals at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and Murtala Muhammed International, Lagos.
Observers had at inception of the construction activities even before the naming of ministers by Buhari administration that the sites will on delivery cause obstructions of other facilities at the two airports.
While the terminal in Abuja is directly blocking the control tower and fire station, that of Lagos is sitting on heavy cables that are servicing the entire area.
It would be recalled that the last administration approved the construction of the two terminals, along with two others in a 2003 China and Nigeria loan deal, put at $500million. The projects are handled by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and ought to have been delivered since March 2015.
The minister, who did not say whether the work should stop, further clarified the status of the Lagos new terminal, disclosing that the terminal is part of a loan of $400 million from China and $100 million counterpart funding from Nigeria.
According to him, “The Abuja terminal that is nearing completion is blocking the control tower and fire service station. Because it has been built, we need to knockdown the N3billion-worth of control tower and also knock down the fire station, which will cost about N2billion. Same problem with the Lagos terminal that is sitting on heavy cables. That is the situation we have found ourselves.
“If I have that $500 million, I will use it to develop the Murtala Muhammed Airport as hub of aviation in Nigeria and West Africa,” the minister said.