Nigeria to hand over major airports to the private sector

Ijeoma Nwankpa, Abuja

The Nigerian government is set to hand over four major airports in the country to the private sector.

Minister of state for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika stated this at a one day Aviation Stakeholders forum in Abuja.

He said the airports are Lagos, Port Harcourt‎, Abuja and Kano.

According to the Minister, the act will not only boost the economic activities of the sector but also create more jobs for the teeming unemployed youths thus increasing the country’s GDP.

Senator Hadi Sirika said that “the government will also complete four new International Terminals as well as set up a world class Maintenance Repair Overhaul facility that will attract customers all over the world especially in Africa.”

He also said that the Ministry was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Ministry of finance to include airlines in the priority list of foreign ‎exchange allocation.

“In line with the mandate of this government of APC, we are going to open an Aviation bank for the industry entrepreneurs as well as an aviation University to aid research in the sector.” he noted.

The Minister also pointed out some of the challenges facing the sector and assured Nigerians that government was working to address them.

Some of the challenges are inadequate security at the airports, high cost of aircraft maintenance, non-existence of a national carrier, as well as pot holes on Abuja runways.

Senator Hadi, however promised that all the resolutions reached by stakeholders at the forum would be implemented for the growth of the aviation industry.