Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu. Photo Credit-THISDAY Newspaper
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the ongoing terminal construction in Enugu airport would be delayed as a result of reduction in the cost of construction.
Buhari in his twitter handle yesterday said,
“The provision for Construction of the Terminal Building at Enugu Airport was cut from N2 billion to N500 million, which will further delay the completion of this critical project.”
“The $500 million terminal buildings in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kano were said to have stalled in their initial plan of completion of the facilities in 18 months, but lack of coordination by the last administration, coupled with delay in Nigeria’s little financial commitment led to the delay”, according to a source conversant with the entire project, but pleaded anonymity.
Since 2015, several completion dates had been set for the terminals’ completion for the Lagos and Abuja aerodrome, being the two airports with the biggest passenger traffic.
While the Abuja facility has reached 80 percent completion stage, Lagos is said to be within 75 and 80 percent stage.
Nigeria and China had, five years ago, signed a $500 million loan pact for the construction of the four new international airport terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano.
The 20-year, 2.5 percent interest loan for the project has a grace period of seven years before payment.
The project was expected to have been completed a year ago, but Nigeria’s default in paying its counterpart funding had delayed it.
The loans reflect the deepening economic ties between oil-rich Nigeria and China, which already is involved in building major roads and railway projects in the country.
Adamu Aliero, one of the project handlers, who led the team for the terminal construction, said: “The ministry is already aware of the power and water challenges and I think that they are doing something about it. Once they bring it to the notice of the legislature, we will do the needful and give them the necessary support, because we need this building to be put to use immediately after completion.”
According to Aliero, the building is 80 percent completed and what is left to be done is the finishing and the pieces of equipment to be used are already on ground.