Chinedu Eze writes that the choice by the federal authorities to embark on constructing further terminals to its worldwide airports some years in the past was insightful as these amenities can now meet the wants of accelerating passenger site visitors
Many Nigerians have been shocked final week when the worldwide physique, Airport Council Worldwide (ACI), African Area gave the Airport Service High quality (ASQ) 2020 award to the NnamdiAzikiwe Worldwide Airport, Abuja.
The ACI recognised the airport as the very best airport in Africa as a result of it met the requirement of processing between 5 and 15 million passengers per 12 months along with the scale of the airport.
Some Nigerians who spoke to THISDAY on the popularity by ACI expressed shock as a result of through the years Nigerian airports had been criticised for being dilapidated, as out of date amenities hamper simple passenger course of.
So it was like a impolite awakening when it all of a sudden occurred that within the worldwide airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt, the federal authorities was constructing cutting-edge terminals.
The terminal in Port Harcourt was the primary to go on stream in 2018, adopted by that of Abuja in 2019 and shortly Kano and Lagos terminals would begin processing passengers, in accordance with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The Basic Supervisor, Company Affairs, FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, stated the award represented the company’s dedication to, “constantly bettering buyer expertise throughout all our airports. The popularity comes at a time once we are geared in the direction of guaranteeing seamless airport facilitation with the opening of recent terminals and upgrading of our present infrastructures throughout board.”
She added that regardless of a turbulent 12 months tormented by COVID-19 induced monetary struggles; the authority has endeavored to prioritize buyer satisfaction whereas guaranteeing that well being and security stay topmost.
Passenger Site visitors
There was rising air passenger site visitors each for native and worldwide travels. Contemplating Nigeria’s big inhabitants, business observers at all times argued that though passenger site visitors is rising however not as quick because it should be and that’s as a result of not many Nigerians can afford to journey by air. However through the years the airport amenities have skilled passenger over capability on account of passenger progress and lack of corresponding growth of terminal amenities.
A few of the airports affected included those in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Enugu, Owerri, Port Harcourt and Benin.
FAAN began increasing terminal amenities in these airports and others and awarded the constructing of recent terminals on the worldwide airports in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Kano and Port Harcourt.
FAAN’s document of passenger site visitors within the final 17 years, from 1999 to 2016, confirmed progressive enhance of passenger site visitors yearly.
In 2016, complete passenger site visitors in all of the airports managed by FAAN was 14, 361, 587, whereas it was barely decrease in 2017 to 13, 704, 215, it rose to 16, 371, 674 in 2018 and 17, 580, 023 in 2019.
The federal authorities has additionally projected that the most important worldwide airports: the MurtalaMuhammed Worldwide Airport (MMIA), Lagos, the NnamdiAzikiwe Worldwide Airport, Abuja, the MallamAminu Kano Worldwide Airport, Kano and the Port Harcourt Worldwide Airport, Omagwa could be processing about 55 million passengers by 2048.
This was the projection made by the Define Enterprise Case Report for the concession of the 4 main airports, titled, Nigeria 4 Airports PPP and made obtainable by the Ministry of Aviation.
The report stated the forecast of complete site visitors for the 4 airports in Nigeria is anticipated to develop on common at 5.3 per cent over the following 30 years, from 11 million passengers in 2017 to 55 million by 2048.
The report attributed the expansion to the robust inhabitants progress and affluence of this inhabitants, so authorities is anticipated to supply adequate capability to deal with this quantity of forecast site visitors.
Perhaps it’s due to the projected enhance in passenger motion that the federal authorities is critically contemplating concession of the amenities.
The Ministry of Aviation stated that along with the terminals which can be presently beneath development, if the airports are given out in concession, the concessionaires are required to refurbish the prevailing amenities in Abuja and Port Harcourt, including that in Lagos a brand new terminal must be constructed and the prevailing MMA1 (Basic Aviation Terminal (GAT) worldwide terminal decommissioned.
“The Ministry goals to develop Nigeria’s main business airports and surrounding communities into environment friendly, worthwhile, self-sustaining, business hubs which can create extra jobs and develop native industries,” the report stated.
It additionally disclosed that the federal authorities of Nigeria want to use the PPP (Public, Non-public Partnership) mannequin to leverage non-public sector participation and international funding to attain the improve and growth of recent infrastructure at these airports within the quickest and most cost-effective method.
On the scope of the venture, the report stated it matches properly inside the scope of the Ministry and the ICRC (Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Fee) and would assist Nigeria to succeed in its goal when it comes to air transport: creating and profitably managing customer-centric airport amenities for secure, safe and environment friendly carriage of passengers and items at world-class requirements of high quality.
Taking on the Problem
However the federal authorities has at all times had the intention to concession the airports for the reason that final 15 years however in 2012, authorities determined that as a substitute of going by the concession course of, it adopted the coverage of rehabilitating the airports, often called airport renewal after which signed the contract with the Chinese language Exim financial institution to borrow cash to construct the brand new terminals on the worldwide airport, along with the worldwide terminal facility on the AkanuIbiam Worldwide Airport, which venture is nearing completion.
The plan to concession the airports, which gave impetus to the report quoted above is authorities’s answer to out of date airport amenities however labour unions have at all times descried the choice to concession the airports, alleging spurious intentions and insincerity within the concession plan and emphasised that FAAN might successfully handle the airports if given free fingers by the Ministry of Aviation to take action.
Progress report on the worldwide airports began with the certification of the MurtalaMuhammed Worldwide Airport (MMIA), Lagos and the NnamdiAzikiwe Worldwide Airport, Abuja in September and November 2017 by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)
Earlier than the certification, Airport Council Worldwide (ACI) guided by FAAN inspected the availability of amenities and tools on the two airports in accordance to really helpful practices with a purpose to meet worldwide requirements.
It was after these circumstances have been met that NCAA, in accordance to the Worldwide Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules, licensed the 2 airports.
The certification upped the score of the MurtalaMuhammed Worldwide Airport, Lagos and the NnamdiAzikiwe Worldwide Airport, Abuja in Africa, because the Lagos, which is the fifth busiest airport is projected to turn into a serious hub in West and Central Africa.
With the certification of those airports, Nigeria’s score has not solely improved however these airports can function hubs in West and Central Africa due to the worldwide recognition.
The then Director Basic of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the late Captain Muhtar Usman, stated Nigeria had turn into the one nation in Africa to have its two airports licensed in accordance to ICAO security commonplace and the one nation in West Africa sub-region with internationally licensed airports.
The late Usman stated the certification had improved the score of the 2 airports in security requirements within the worldwide aviation circles and would appeal to extra international carriers to the nation, which might increase air transport and create extra jobs for the citizenry.
He hinted then that this might reposition air transport to contribute extra to the GDP of the nation as a result of it could increase passenger motion in home and worldwide locations, as passenger motion was anticipated to double from over 15 million each year within the subsequent 15 years.
“It’s also attention-grabbing to notice that with the certification of Abuja airport, Nigeria has turn into the primary state to attain the certification of multiple worldwide airport within the AFI (Africa/Indian) Area. Nonetheless, we’re not resting on our oars, because the certification of Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu airports are scheduled for completion in compliance with the Abuja Ministerial declaration and security targets of 2012,” he had stated.
The then Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma reiterated the company’s dedication to proceed with the current tempo within the growth of the opposite worldwide airports
“We made a dedication to proceed with this tempo and shortly we’ll go to Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu airports,” he stated.
Reacting to the score of the Abuja airport, the previous Basic Supervisor, Enterprise Growth of FAAN and presently the Managing Accomplice, TMSS Logistics, AlhajiNuhu Adam, informed THISDAY that the award given to NnamdiAzikiwe Worldwide Airport, Abuja was a laudable one, which signifies that the airport has improved considerably and likewise signifies that the federal authorities is doing properly in bettering the airport amenities in Nigeria.
He stated the federal government ought to go additional and supply touchdown amenities on the airports beneath FAAN administration in order that airways might function into these airports late within the night time, remarking that this might allow airways to function their airways for longer hours, present longer service to travellers and generate extra income to FAAN.
He additionally stated the FAAN ought to do every thing doable to construct web site for every of its worldwide airports so that individuals might entry them from everywhere in the world, noting that the worldwide airports are solely included within the web site of the company’s worldwide airports, however every ought to have its personal web site.
“The award signifies that ACI African Area has been monitoring the development of the airport and kudos ought to go to the federal authorities, FAAN and the administration of Abuja airport.
“The award speaks volumes on how far the airport has improved. If we will obtain such revered accolade now that the airport continues to be work in progressive, we must always count on extra international recognition when the federal authorities will need to have achieved its multimodal transport system. The Abuja airport stands out in each side of airport growth.
“Nonetheless, FAAN nonetheless has a variety of work to do. Abuja airport has not been linked to its personal web site. On this interval of knowledge expertise, the airport needs to be accessed by anybody who needs to know extra about it from any a part of the world. You’ll be able to simply entry the home airport terminal managed by Bi-Courtney Aviation Providers Restricted (BASL) in Lagos, often called MMA2. The Abuja airport stays our greatest to date,” Adam stated.
Business observers stated that the award to Abuja ought to function incentive for presidency to maintain the tempo of infrastructural enchancment of the airports in order that they’d meet worldwide requirements when it comes to safety, security, crucial amenities like bathrooms, Web entry and simple passenger facilitation.
Stakeholders additionally known as on FAAN to determine elaborate transit facility on the Abuja airport to boost regional and sub-regional flight operations, the place passengers would keep and join worldwide flights from the airport.