May 24, 2024

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Re-85% Of Airports Are Revenue Drain Pipes; Word Of Caution For The Governors

3 min read

Dutse International Airport, Jigawa State

Dear Editor,

Please accept my commendation to you and the entire Team at Nigeria Transport Hub, for your courage in keeping the ‘Flag Flying’ and keeping your readers informed, despite the challenges faced by all and sundry since February 2020, when our country got “hit” by the Pandemic, and 23rd March 2020, when the nation’s air space was closed to international travels. May God in His infinite kindness continue to guide, protect, and strengthen you all, Amen.

I have just read your Report of October 2020, in which the statement about a significant number of Nigeria’s Airports that are Managed by FAAN (i.e. the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria), being mere revenue “drain pipes” was credited to her incumbent Managing Director, Captain Rabiu Yadudu. This did not come to me as a great surprise.

Just like the sound logic of making Tertiary Education easily accessible to as many Nigerians at the ‘grassroots’ as possible, had political correctness added to it in the 1990s and the First Decade after we entered the New Millennium, and we have witnessed a “race” for almost all the 36 States in Nigeria to own their [indigenous] University and Polytechnic, not forgetting the issuance of licenses by the National Universities Commission for the establishment of many Privately – owned Universities as well as Faith-based Universities, so also has there been a DRIVE by the Governors of many States in Nigeria to “open – up” their State Capitals to the world through the Construction of Airports.

Some of these relatively new Airports are at times, located a mere 50 Kilometers to 100 Kilometers from each other. Perhaps Aerodromes or Landing Strips may have been adequate if proper Feasibility and Viability Studies were undertaken or had not been “overridden” by Political considerations.

What if we even have more up to date Master Plans for the Development of [New] Airports in Nigeria that will be juxtaposed with our Roads and Highway Development efforts? It is getting clearer now to the lay public that we need to start asking our Leaders more searching questions.

Akure Airport, Ondo State

We need less of the so-called white elephant Projects and grandiose schemes, which deprive Government at all levels of vital resources in these economically challenging times that may be (otherwise) applied towards Healthcare, Education, (Social) Housing, Security, Welfare of the vulnerable persons in society, young children, Aged & Infirm, etc. Money spent in the aforementioned sectors will be of benefit to the true Masses of Nigeria’s Population, rather than a privileged few that can afford the luxury of Air Travel.

Let our decision-makers take this little contribution of mine as food for thought from a genuinely concerned citizen and not just ‘scathing criticism’ from an intellectually inclined Engineer (and Management Consultant), i.e. my humble self, Afolabi.

It is noteworthy that the Aviation Industry worldwide is still recovering from the “shock” and decline occasioned by the 9/11 ‘ATTACKS’ on the World Trade Center Towers in the United State of America, over a Decade ago.

Additional ‘pressure’ has been placed on Air Travel by necessary Health Guidelines to curb the spread of the Covid – 19 Pandemic. These are Global Macroeconomic Factors and “Shocks” that no one ever expected or predicted! The foregoing points do not completely absolve from (constructive) criticism, the technocrats and all manners of aviation consultants and the State Governors in Nigeria that went ahead with Airport Construction Projects, which have now proven to be “unviable”.

Long Live The Federal Republic Of Nigeria; May God Continue To Grant Wisdom To Our Leaders.

Written by: –
Engr. Afolabi O. ADEDEJI, FNSE; FCMI
[B.Sc.(Civil); M.Sc.(Construction Management); Executive MBA]
Afolabi Adedeji & Associates [‘AA&A’] 08034725858.
Consulting & Training in Facilities Management, Etc.
Victoria Island, Lagos. {}
This Monday, the 2nd Day of November, the Year 2020

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