The $600 million airport terminal inaugurated at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari was on Saturday afternoon shutdown, as authorities say engineering works are still ongoing in the terminal.
The yet to be completed terminal, projected to cost about $1 billion, is being implemented through a $500 million loan from China as well as $100 million counterpart funding from the Nigerian government. An additional $400 million will help complete the project, Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, said.
Per Second News‘ visit to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja earlier on Saturday shows that the terminal is not yet opened for business, and the newspaper’s correspondent was prevented access into the terminal, in addition to being prevented to take photographs.
“You shouldn’t be here,” said one of the officials met at the terminal, telling the correspondent that “engineering work in the terminal is ongoing” without providing dates of possible completion.
By the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)’s estimation, the new terminal will process nearly 20 million international passengers annually, up from about 5.8 million processed in 2017.
The terminal is considered an achievement by the Buhari-led administration, per the president “progress being made in both the airports and seaports is seen as part of the implementation of the Executive Order on the Ease of Doing Business.”
According to the president, the inauguration “represents yet another significant milestone for International air travellers in and out of the Federal Capital Territory. “You will recall that on the 25th October, 2018, I commissioned Port Harcourt International Airport Terminal. During the event, the Honourable Minister of State (Aviation) stated that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Terminal, Abuja would be completed and ready for commissioning before the end of the year. Today, that promise has been kept. I wish to commend the Honourable Minister and his team for a job well done.”
An airport terminal is a building at an airport where passengers transfer between ground transportation and the facilities that allow them to board and disembark from an aircraft. Within the terminal, passengers purchase tickets, transfer their luggage, and go through security