The federal government is set to remodel 22 airport terminals across the country following the upgrade of facilities currently ongoing at the Lagos and Abuja airports.
Government officials told newsmen over the weekend that the upgrade efforts would commence at the Port Harcourt and Enugu airport terminals with engineers said to have already been mobilised to the Akanu Ibiam international airport in Enugu.
Areas expected to be fixed are chillers, travellators and escalators, conveyor belts that are out of use, check-in counters and toilets, among others.
Two terminals are under construction at the Port Harcourt International Airport, one of them having been initiated by the last administration. The new terminals would cater to the needs of passengers presently being attended to under a tent.
The government had recently completed repairs on the runway at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja while the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, recently commenced the refurbishment of the MMIA, Lagos after Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo visited the airport some weeks ago and complained about the state of its facilities.
The Kaduna airport also benefited from an upgrade ahead of the recent closure of the Abuja airport for repairs on its runway.
It was also gathered that the federal government has voted the sum of N31bn under the 2017 appropriation bill for construction and repair works at the federal airports across the nation.
The Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said there would be total remodelling of all the airports.
She explained that the last regime started construction of new terminals in most airports and work is ongoing on most of them, including Enugu, Port Harcourt and Jos airports,
“the remodelling is ongoing and new terminals being built through private partnership are coming up. We intend to take it up from there. In Lagos, for instance, the construction of a new terminal is ongoing and remodelling is also ongoing at the old terminal, which is the same thing that will happen in the other airports.”
The former Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, had invested massively in the remodelling of airport terminals across the country before she left office.
According to Punch, Mrs Oduah’s successor, Mr Osita Chidoka, in 2014, stopped the remodelling projects, saying that the resources of the ministry should be channelled towards boosting safety and security of airports rather than remodelling them.