President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday expressed concern over the enormous debt profile of Nigeria’s aviation sector, saying his administration will act quickly to redress the situation.
Speaking after receiving briefings from Binta Bello, permanent secretary of the ministry of aviation, Buhari directed the ministry to speed up all processes and projects relating to the safety and security of the air transport system.
“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,” Femi Adesina, his spokesman, quoted him as saying during the briefing.
“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.”
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.
Earlier, Bello had told the president that the five new international airport terminal buildings were designed to meet the best international standards.
The five international terminals, she said, could cater to 62 million passengers annually when completed in the first quarter of 2016, with Lagos moving from 7 million passengers’ capacity to 25 million, Abuja moving from 5 million to 16 million, while Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu, will have the capacity for 7 million passengers each.