Nigeria to Double Airports to 62 By 2023—Aviation Minister

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By Adedapo Adesanya

To boost the nation’s economy and enhance air connectivity, the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, has said the federal government will double the number of airports in the country before the end of 2023.

Nigeria currently has 31 airports out of which 26 of the airports are operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), five of which are functional international airports. This means if this is actualised, there will be at least 62 airports in the country.

The Aviation Minister made the plan known during the public presentation of the 2021 budget proposal organised by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

He said, “We understood the principles and the importance of air connectivity and it is a very important sector. It boosts our economy and we believe investment in this sector will do well for our economy.

“Before the end of 2023, we would have doubled the number of airports in Nigeria. We understand the importance of aviation infrastructure as a critical component for the working of our economy and our national security assets.”

Mr Sirika said the aviation industry was the fastest growing sector in the country and the current administration had developed a roadmap to improve civil aviation and air transportation in general.

Business Post had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2021 budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly last Thursday (October 8).

The 2021 budget is projected at N13.08 trillion, which is 21 per cent higher than the revised 2020 budget of N10.8 trillion.

Capital expenditure for the Ministry of Aviation is put at N89.97 billion in the proposed 2021 budget.

However, the ministry proposes to spend N5 billion for safety and security-critical projects and airport certification nationwide and N14 billion for construction of the second runway at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Also, the ministry proposed N1.6 billion extension and asphalt overlay of Murtala Muhammed International Airport runway, Lagos; N1 billion construction of a new terminal building in Enugu; and N1 billion construction of Abeokuta airstrip.

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