The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika officially commissioned the N2.2 billion expansion of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) and the cargo terminal at the bustling Murtala Muhammed Airport.
The highly-anticipated projects, undertaken by Messrs Glovesly Pro-Project Limited, promise to enhance the airport’s capacity and efficiency.
During the inauguration ceremony, Sirika expressed his enthusiasm for the GAT expansion, which will see the terminal’s capacity skyrocket from 254 to 1,054.
The special assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Dr. James Odaudu detailed the impressive features of the upgraded facility, including three standard departure halls, three VIP lounges, two protocol lounges, three lifts, four toilets, five office spaces and five staircases, among others. This expansion aims to address the long-standing issue of limited capacity in the terminal and cargo facilities within the aviation industry.
The minister also emphasised the significance of the cargo terminal, which forms part of the comprehensive Aviation Roadmap implemented by the government. He revealed that seven cargo terminals are scheduled for commissioning, highlighting the commitment of the current administration to the sector’s growth and development.
In his address, minister Sirika extended his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering support and dedication to the advancement of the aviation sector. However, he cautioned the media against becoming pawns in the hands of those with vested interests seeking to undermine the remarkable achievements attained by the Buhari administration in aviation.
Addressing the press in Lagos, Sirika shed light on the ongoing reorganisation within aviation agencies, assuring journalists that the process would continue until May 29, 2023. Responding to questions, Sirika stressed that the reorganisation had received President Buhari’s approval, emphasising that the government’s continuity remains unaffected by changes in CEOs.
Furthermore, the minister expressed that individual who had been removed from their positions had served their tenure and that the reorganisation was a necessary step in ensuring effective governance. With over 200 million people to consider, every action taken by the government carries immense responsibility. Sirika drew attention to the recent changes in leadership within various organisations, including the appointment of a new Accountant General of the Federation, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board and the North East Development Commission (NEDC). He questioned why aviation was the focus of attention and reiterated the government’s commitment to achieving progress in the sector.
Sirika proudly highlighted the administration’s accomplishments in civil aviation, stating that the sector had witnessed significant improvements during its tenure. Over the past eight years, the government has doubled the number of airlines and airports, while quadrupling the number of passengers. Notably, due to the government’s diligent efforts, Nigeria’s aviation industry was ranked second globally in its recovery from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, following Colombia.
The minister acknowledged the importance of constructive criticism. He encouraged critics to offer objective assessments, promising to consider their viewpoints and strive for improvement. Minister Sirika firmly asserted that history would judge the outgoing administration favourably for its unwavering dedication to the advancement of the aviation sector under President Buhari’s visionary leadership.