Present at the commissioning: FAAN MD; Mr George Uriesi, CBN Governor; Lamido Sanusi Lamido, Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation; Sen Hope Uzodinma, Aviation Minister; Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah and others.
The remodelled international terminal of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport was commissioned last Friday (15th March, 2013) .
The terminal, which had degenerated from the sublime to the ridiculous, had been restored back to its glory.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah said “It is also the expectation of government that all the airport terminals so remodelled will begin to make more tangible contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), through increase in private investments at our airports.”
She pointed out that one of the cardinal points of the aviation sector master plan was to establish cargo airports in different geo-political zones of the country to act as processing zones for the exportation of perishable goods, especially food items to different parts of the world, adding that contract had been awarded for a perishable cargo area in the airport to facilitate the exportation of perishable goods from the airport to other parts of the world.
“This fact,” she stated, “should gladden the hearts of our citizens in the northern part of the country because it provides ample opportunity for the resuscitation of the popular groundnut pyramids in Kano and the start of a kind of revolution in the production of such cash crops grown mostly in the northern part of the country as potatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, lettuce, tomatoes and millet. The positive economic effect of this reality on unemployment and urban-rural migration will be huge.”
The minister opined that with the elevation of the infrastructure in the airport, it would attract foreign airlines, thus making life a lot easier for international travellers in the city and its environ.
In his address at the event, Mr George Uriesi, Managing Director of FAAN, said the remodelled international terminal was a huge improvement on the old terminal with regard to ambience, facilities and seating capacity.
According to him, “The entire cooling system in the terminal was replaced with a new one, to ensure effective cooling at all times, especially at peak periods while a walkway was provided on the airside, to protect passengers from the elements since the terminal does not have avio bridges. This is aside from the installation of new conveyor belts, check-in counters, immigration counters, toilets, offices, shops and other related facilities.”
Uriesi said by upgrading the facilities in the airport the Federal Government had thrown a challenge to all stakeholders to turn Kano State and other surrounding states into industrial and economic havens in line with the aerotropolis concept that had turned airports all over the world to meeting points of economic development.
The guest of honour at the ceremony, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, while commissioning the remodelled terminal, lauded President Goodluck Jonathan and the Aviation Minister for the remodelled airports.
Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said, “CBN supports public officers that are doing something. There is no one that can go to Kano airport or Kaduna airport or Benin airport or Abuja airport and tell you that something is not happening.”
He, however, charged the ministry to imbibe a maintenance culture to preserve the standard of the airport.
Photo credit: Princess Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi