President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday expressed concern over the enormous debt profile of Nigeria’s aviation sector, saying his administration would act quickly to redress the situation.
The President was speaking after receiving briefing from officials of Ministry of Aviation, led by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs Binta Bello at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said “I am concerned about the enormous debt profile in the aviation sector. The Federal Government has to do something quickly because safety, security and international respectability are involved here.
“Our airports are the windows through which people see our country. Anybody coming into the country will likely come through the airports.
“If we cannot secure and maintain our infrastructure, it will reflect very badly on us.”
The President then directed the ministry to speed up all processes and projects relating to the safety and security of Nigeria’s air transport system.
He further directed that counterpart funding for the upgrading of the international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu, should be captured in the 2016 budget.
The Permanent Secretary had informed the President that the five new International Airport Terminal Buildings were designed to meet the best international standards.
According to her, the terminals can cater for 62 million passengers annually when completed in the first quarter of 2016.
She said that the Lagos terminal, when completed, would be moving from seven million passenger capacity to 25 million, while
the Abuja terminal would increase from five million to 16 million.
She added that the Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu terminals, when completed, would have the capacity for seven million passengers each.