The Federal Government has revealed plans to inject funds for the upgrade of airports across the country. Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika made this known during the opening of the Legend Hotel Lagos Airport Curio Collection by Hilton, at Lagos Airport.
While announcing that A380 aircraft would arrive in Nigeria in few months time, Sirika said the Federal Government would also go ahead with the concession of major international airports in the country.
“The Federal Government would spend a huge sum of money in improving infrastructure at the airports, especially the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos. I will like to say that within a few months, in the first quarter of next year, A380 aircraft would be landing in Nigeria. We have facilities to receive such an aeroplane.
“This year before the end of this October, we would be opening the terminal in Port Harcourt which is ready even to the apron operations. We will also be opening the terminal in Abuja. They would be ready for operations.”
Sirika noted that the country had huge potential in aviation waiting to be harnessed, owing to its population.
Despite the call on Federal Government to upgrade its airports and concession, the country’s airports last year recorded high traffic of passengers.
A report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), shows that 13,394,945 passengers travelled through Nigerian airports in 2017. This comprised of 6,693,687 at arrivals and 6,701,258 at departures. The figure was an 8.03% decline from 2016, mainly due to the six-week closure of Abuja airport in March 2017.
2017 Q4 saw steady growth in the number of both domestic and international passengers travelling to or from Nigerian airports, by 6.46% and 1.01% respectively.
For the first time in the year, more arrivals were recorded than departures for both domestic and international travellers in 2017 Q4. Arrivals and departures in the reviewing quarter were 1,864,906 and 1,308,959 respectively.