Thursday, October 25, 2018 4:54 pm
… Commends people of South-South for Patience.
…International Terminal to boost International Business Investment into the country
Okafor Ofiebor /Port Harcourt
President Muhammadu Buhari today, October 25 commissioned the new International Terminal of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
Buhari stated that the ceremony represents a significant landmark for International air travellers, particularly from the South South region, and the entire Country.
He recalled that after opening the major airport terminals in the country in the late 70s and early 80s, not much was added to increase the passenger handling capacity of these facilities by successive administrations.
And following the large increase in national population with consequent surge in air passenger traffic, the capacity of the airport terminals became woefully inadequate to cater for the increase in passenger traffic.
He said that although, palliative measures were periodically carried out, the facilities were fast giving-in to the effects of wear and tear. It therefore became necessary to take decisive action to ensure our terminals meet minimum international standards for the travelling public.
Consequent upon that, the Federal Government responded to a global trend in which aviation became a catalyst for economic growth as a result of massive and speedy movement of persons, goods and services in a safe and secure manner.
“As part of the infrastructure renewal program, the construction of four new international terminals at Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano airports was embarked upon by the Federal Government with a view to modernising the aging airport infrastructure to meet global aviation standards and improved service delivery in tandem with best international practices.
President Buhari recalled that at the presentation of the 2017 Budget to the National Assembly, I promised to upgrade and develop Nigeria’s transport, power and health infrastructure, and complete a number of stalled infrastructure projects. These include construction of new terminals at the country’s five major airports; numerous major road projects; key power transmission projects; and the completion of the Kaduna – Abuja as well as Itakpe to Warri Railway lines.
He stated that due to the desire to develop into a regional air transportation hub, must upgrade its facilities to take advantage of its assets. The recent decision by the Federal Government to remove Value Added Tax from domestic air transportation is in line with global best practices, making air travel more affordable and subsequently lead to the creation of jobs by the air transport service value chain as well as increase revenues for government.
Today’s commissioning, he said, is an example of Government’s deliberate policy to sustain the development of infrastructure for economic growth in all geo-political zones of the country.
While commending the people of the South South Region and airport users for their patience during the period of construction, he also praised the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, particularly Aviation, the Chinese government and the China Exim Bank for their financial support and the various roles they played leading to the successful completion of this project. I also wish to say well done to the contractor, Messrs CCECC for timely service delivery.
Mr President arrived at the airport at about 12.20pm in his remarks said the International Terminal will play a major role role in attracting investors to boost the economy of the country.
On his part, Governor Nyesom Wike who welcomed the President commended the federal government for construction the new terminal and said that the people of the South South are grateful hoping that Domestic Wing of the Airport will be completed and commissioned by the federal government.