The Federal Government will require at least $200m (about N72.4bn) to correct the defects on the abandoned second terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, an investigation by SaharaReporters has revealed.
A source close to the Ministry of Transport, Aviation Unit, who asked not to be named, told our correspondent on Monday that the new terminal was wrongly sited and did not follow the master plan of the airport.
Aside this, four other new terminals in Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Bayelsa also face similar challenges.
Stella Oduah, Former Minister of Aviation, had embarked on the new airport projects in 2013, and additional funding of $500m was secured from China Exim Bank, while Nigeria was expected to add its counterpart fund to the project.
It was learnt that the new terminal obstructs the control tower and is not seamlessly linked to the existing terminals.
The ministry source confided in our correspondent that the terminal, which was scheduled to be completed in 24 months — in 2015 to be precise — could not be completed as the government required additional funds to move the control tower.
It was gathered that the only option left for the government is to demolish the existing control tower and move it away from its present location.
The source said that at its present location, the position of the new terminal is obstructing Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) from properly seeing incoming aircraft, which is against safety standards in the global aviation industry.
The sum would also be required for the proper placement of fire tenders, as well as linking the two terminals.
The source said: “Stella Oduah, as a Minister in the sector, unilaterally took decisions on the remodelling and constructing of the airports. No master plan was followed in any of the existing airports. She blatantly ignored expert advice and guidance from the respective agencies in the sector.
“Oduah had her way with the highest authority in the land and could get away with anything she wanted. If anyone stood in her way, the consequence was catastrophic. Having said that, the most important thing is to correct the defects in the airports so that we can use the terminals for what they were constructed for.”
Earlier in the year, Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, disclosed that completion of the new terminal building at the Abuja airport was being delayed for several reasons, noting that the delay is a foundational issue that has altered the master plan of the airport.
He said the quality of work is acceptable but the pace of work isn’t, because the project should have been delivered in 2015.
Sirika said: “The contractor has told us some of the challenges he has been facing regarding some of the components of work and some additional work required for this project to be put into use.
“Unfortunately, some of these components are complex, which would delay this job and some of them are from the foundation like that of the sewer and water. All of these are not small works to be done, but the intent of the government is to fast-track the construction to ensure that it is being utilised soon.”
The terminal constructions are being handled by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
Oduah had also commenced the remodelling of 22 airports, but there were complaints by professionals in the sector that most of the materials procured for the project were substandard and could not stand the test of time.