It is no longer news that the Abuja airport will be closed for a period of six weeks to carry out urgent rehabilitation of the runway. Aside the inconvenience to passengers who will now have to fly to Kaduna and travel to Abuja by road, businesses operating within the vicinity of the airport will suffer losses running into billions of naira.
SAHCOL, which is the company that handles ground handling services says the closure will cost it 3.36 billion naira. Small scale businesses will also be affected. Cabs that shuttle the airport route, will have very few customers within that period.
Food vendors will end up throwing away food, as the traffic within the airport premises will be reduced drastically. Even newspaper vendors and informal money changers will lose clientele. The sad thing about the closure is money lost can not be recovered. While big firms may be able to absorb the losses, small firms may have to retrench or downsize staff. Some of these staff may not be recalled when the airport reopens.
Individuals working in the informal sector live on daily income. The closure means there will be a drop in income or no income at all. Idle hands will thus be forced into crime. As with, everything Nigerian, there is every possibility that the period of closure could be extended. The estimated losses may thus increase.