Posted by Sade Williams
Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika has said that there is going back on the aerotropolis project and which may lead to the demolition of structures at the Lagos airport, saying the Ministry will ensure Nigeria delivers State-of-the-art facilities that will transform into an aerotropolis.
He however said that this will not be done without carrying the stakeholders along like other projects.
“If I have my way, those structures from the local airport to Bristow will be demolished tomorrow and pave the way for the emergence of a befitting airport city. Would you not like to see shopping malls, befitting car parks and other support facilities like you find in other parts of the world?”
”But we will not do this under the table. This is an executive function which we will tell stakeholders, because they have a right to know, we will not do it under the table I have not been known for that. If we want to demolish to make something better, nobody should stop us because we know it is for the good of the industry.”. he said.
He stated this at a stakeholders’ appreciation forum in Lagos, for the reconstruction of Lagos airport runway 18L, on Tuesday.
Nigeria, he said, cannot short change itself on the global move to deliver world class air transport infrastructure as it’s been done in other developed countries such as United Arab Emirates, America, amongst others.
He said he will put measures in place to sustain the achievements in the aviation industry during the Buhari administration.
Three aviation unions, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), had last Thursday, called on Aviation Minister to put on hold plan to demolish aviation agencies offices in Lagos in a bid to pave way to aerotropolis.
The call was sequel to Sirika’s statement that as part of the Ministry of Aviation’s road map for the aviation industry and particularly for Lagos, the office spaces occupied by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) were to be demolished to give room to the ambition of turning the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos to an aerotropolis.
The unions at a joint press briefing at Lagos airport said the plan should be put on hold pending proper evaluation, planning and better timing.
The unions asked the Federal Executive Council to halt further approvals on the airports concession programme, and indeed any other Aviation Road Map project, pending a comprehensive forensic audit of the projects undertaken up to this point.