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Aviation and infrastructure development are catalyst for economic growth , FG

President Mohammadu Buhari on Thursday said his administration before now has recognised aviation industry and building of infrastructure, as a catalyst for economic growth thereby hinges on proper plan to harvest the benefits for a better Nigerian economy.

President Buhari states this in Abuja yesterday while commission ultra morder international aviation terminal at the Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja. The president while delivering his keynote address said that the gesture has yet represented another significant milestone for International air travellers in and out of the Federal Capital Territory. “You will recall that on the 25th October, 2018, I commissioned Port Harcourt International Airport Terminal.

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During the event, the Honourable Minister of State (Aviation) stated that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Terminal, Abuja would be completed and ready for commissioning before the end of the year. Today, that promise has been kept. I wish to commend the Honourable Minister and his team for a job well done. “With the commissioning of this Terminal, Nigeria is moving towards achieving and meeting global aviation standards in facilitation, passenger processing and service delivery in tandem with international best practices”, he said.

The President notes that his Administration recognises aviation as a catalyst for economic growth and as such will continue to encourage and support the actualization of projects that will place Nigerian Airports amongst the best in the world, observing that the occasion reflects Government’s deliberate policy to sustain the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure. We are gradually closing the infrastructural deficit bedevilling our country. “I am happy to note the progress being made in both the airports and sea ports on the implementation of the Executive Order on the Ease of Doing Business.

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Government officials manning these gateways are to sustain the momentum and ensure travellers in and out of the country have the best of experience as a necessary complement to the ultra-modern terminal. Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Terminal is the first airport terminal to be connected to rail transport system in the Country and indeed in the region. This has provided passengers and other airport users with a choice in the mode of transport to and from the city centre.

I recall taking a ride from the City Metro station to the Airport on the day the rail line was commissioned. I wish to assure you therefore, that Government remains committed to developing Nigeria into Regional air transportation hub and thereby assuming its leadership in the aviation sub sector in Africa.” President Buhari, appreciated the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (Aviation), the Government of the Peoples Republic of China and the China Exim Bank for their financial support and the various roles they played leading to the successful completion of this project. Let me also commend the contractor Messrs CCECC for delivering this project on time. Speaking in collaboration, Senator Ibn La Ala, representing the Senate President Bukola Saraki, stated that Nigeria presently at the fore front of championing the aviation transportation in Africa and should recieves quicker legislative attention. He said that in the recent times, Nigerians effort had gained international recognised so like ICAO certification and lots. He revealed that that the Senate committee on aviation has been mandated to ensure that proper and timely legislative intervention is given to the industry.

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Meanwhile Minister of State for Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that Dr. Namdi Asikiwe International airport new terminal commissioning, is the second in the series of Airport terminals to be commissioned from the projects funded by the China-Exim bank loan of $500m with a counterpart funding of $100m from the debt management office. Sirika, however, observed that from political and economic perspectives, the airport is very strategic to Nigeria not only because it is the gateway to the nations capital but also because it the second busiest airport in the country and the fastest growing in passenger traffic in West and Central Africa, with an average growth rate of 8 per cent, where the world average growth is 5.8 per cent.

The airport according to him, processed 5,709,012 passengers in 2017. This volume equals to about 13 times the total number of passengers recorded by Ghana as a country. “The terminal building you are about to commission Mr President, has annual passenger capacity of 15m covering a space of approximately 56,000m2. It also has the following facilities as well as capabilities; 72 check-in counters. “The new terminal has 5 baggage collection carousels 28 immigration desks at arrival and 16 at departure 8 security screening points 8 passenger boarding bridges.” By Idu Jude, Abuja

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