Saleh Dunoma, Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, says the four new international terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt airports are cost effective.
Dunoma told newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, that while the four terminals were built with 600 million dollars, Kotoka International Airport Terminal 3 alone in Ghana, was built at 275 million dollars.
He explained that the four projects were being funded through 500 million dollars loan from the Export-Import Bank of China (China EximBank) with counterpart funding of 100 million dollars from the Nigerian government.
According to him, the newly built Kotoka International Airport terminal 3 with a handling capacity of 5 million passengers annually, is still lower in capacity to the Port Harcourt terminal which will handle 7million annually.
He said: “When the Kotoka Airport terminal was commissioned in September 2018, a lot of ill-informed Nigerians went on social media to lambast their father land.
“At the cost of 600 million dollars joint funding for the four terminals in Nigeria, it is comparatively more cost-effective than the single terminal in Accra at a cost of 275 million dollars.”
Dunoma said that with the commencement of operations by ASKY Airlines from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; and Lufthansa set to commence from Port Harcourt International Airport, two of the four terminals were being utilised.
He said with the facilities on ground at both the Port Harcourt and Abuja airports, more airlines were expected to indicate interest in flying to those airports.
The FAAN boss said with the commissioning of two of the four terminals, new employment opportunities had been created for deserving Nigerians.
On speculations that the new terminals would be run by the Chinese, Dunoma explained that the China Eximbank only gave Nigeria a repayable loan to build the facilities.
He said: “Arrangements were made in the agreement we signed that as soon as the buildings start operations, they will give us a gestation period, and then we will start paying back the loan.”
He further explained that as was the usual practice, the engineers and technicians of the Chinese firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation that did the job, would be around throughout the Defect Liability Period of one year.
He said: “They will help us train our engineers and maintain the facility for one year until the defect liability period is over and our people get used to these facilities as quickly as possible.
“We have started the training even before the commissioning of the building, but this is a purely technical area.
“Their engineers and technicians will remain with our technicians and engineers over this defect liability period so that they will hands off after that.
“The Chinese are not going to run the terminals, we have started in Abuja and you can see that our people are running it.”
NAN recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had inaugurated the new terminals in Port Harcourt and Abuja in October and December 2018 respectively, while those in Lagos and Kano are expected to be completed this year.