The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, has stated that both terminals of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos constitute a remarkable 60 per cent of Nigeria’s entry and exit points.
He made this disclosure while receiving the report of the task force on the relocation of foreign airlines from the old international terminal to the new terminal in his office.
While expressing his gratitude to the members of the task force for their selfless service to the nation, Keyamo emphasised the critical role played by the Lagos airport in the country’s aviation landscape. He underlined that out of the five international airports in Nigeria, the old terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport is in a state of disrepair. He further pledged his commitment to overseeing the complete overhaul of the terminal before the end of his administration.
Recalling the unfortunate fire incident that occurred on the September 6, 2023, which necessitated the urgent relocation of all airlines from the old terminal, Keyamo acknowledged the public outcry and assured that stringent measures would be put in place to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
Furthermore, he assured the task force of the swift implementation of their recommendations and directed that a meeting be convened with the contractors responsible for the airport. The purpose of this meeting would be to address concerns regarding substandard equipment and explore the possibility of opening up additional entry points into the airport, including expanding their work schedule, as outlined in the public-private partnership (PPP) agreement.
Regarding the need for a comprehensive plan for the airports, Keyamo emphasised that having a master plan would eliminate waste and encourage concessionaires, thereby transforming the airports into genuine hubs. He emphasised that the master plan would carefully consider existing structures to ensure that the renovation of the old terminal proceeds without disruption.
The team leader of the task force and a retired permanent secretary and former director of the department of air transport management, Engineer Hassan Musa discussed the expanded terms of reference for the task force. He highlighted findings that revealed how the fire incident and the abrupt relocation of airlines to ‘terminal 2’ exacerbated existing challenges dating back to the commencement of operations in April 2022.
Musa also raised concerns about the inadequacy of equipment at ‘terminal 2’, which does not meet international standards for international airports. He stressed the critical need for adequate entrance and exit points at ‘terminal 2’ to align with international standards, emphasising the potential consequences of failing to meet these requirements.