FAAN Managing Director states N23bn insufficient for airport upgrade

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The Managing Director of FAAN, Olubunmi Kuku

The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Olubunmi Kuku, has raised concerns over the adequacy of the allocated N23.1 billion for rehabilitating and upgrading airport facilities nationwide, describing it as insufficient.

Speaking on The Morning Brief, a Channels TV program, Kuku emphasized the critical need for improvements in airport infrastructure, including terminal areas, landsides, and air sides, which she believes require substantial capital investments.

“When we talk about N23.1 billion or N23 billion, it may not even begin to address the scale of our infrastructure needs and upgrades,” Kuku remarked. “The aviation sector, particularly our airports, demands significant financial commitments.”

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She highlighted FAAN’s responsibility for managing 22 airports across Nigeria, pointing out that while only three of these airports are profitable, the remaining 19 are subsidized by FAAN. This financial support extends to new airports under development and those managed by state governments or private entities.

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Kuku stressed FAAN’s commitment to contributing 50 percent of its revenue to federal coffers, despite the financial challenges it presents. She revealed ongoing discussions with various government branches to seek relief and support for sustaining airport operations and upgrades.

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Regarding passenger traffic, Kuku noted that economic growth and activities like trade, manufacturing, and tourism are primary drivers, more so than the construction of new airports. She advocated for enhancing these sectors to stimulate airport utilization effectively.

FAAN is collaborating closely with international organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Federal Ministry of Aviation to expand domestic and international flight routes. Kuku highlighted initiatives aimed at transforming Nigerian airports into vital transit hubs, facilitating efficient travel networks across the country.

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In conclusion, she underscored the importance of optimizing Nigeria’s airports to handle nearly 4 million international passengers annually, emphasizing the necessity of sustainable infrastructure management for continued operational success.

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