Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika said decrepit facilities at most of the country’s aerodromes have negatively affected the low passenger traffic currently recorded by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Sirika, in an interaction with the media late Monday night on the state of aviation, said Nigeria loses millions of dollars, adding that with the way things are, super jumbo airplanes and many more airlines cannot operate to the country which does not have the facilities to handle such aircraft.
These poor facilities have also not helped in rating Nigeria highly when it comes to global airports rating.
This much was confirmed by the Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, last year when he told the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Aviation that obsolete nature of most of the facilities and equipment at the nation’s airports was responsible for the poor rating the nation’s airports got from an international travel agency.
Expressing his disappointment, Sirika said with the right facilities at the airports, Nigeria’s yearly traffic could be as high as 50 million, adding that many airlines that would have love to come are delaying their decisions.
His words: “We cannot grow our airports with the way things are right now. Our airports are in pitiable situation. Jumbo planes like the A380 cannot use our airports. Today, we are doing 15 million passengers but with the right facilities and the right things in place, we can do 50million traffic yearly.
“Research has shown that about 40 per cent of travellers like to transit in good airports. The Dubai and Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam are good examples. Dubai Duty Free is worth over $1.2 billion.”