Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) former managing director, Richard Aisuebeogun, has called for immediate expansion of airport facilities and upgrade of landing aids to meet projected annual passenger demand of 30 million by 2030.
The former managing director stated that if the current decay is not arrested, Nigeria would have to spend $50 billion for total revamp of the facilities.
He expressed that Nigeria has suffered infrastructure deficit of public utilities due to complacency, lack of commitment to nation building and inefficient utilization of government resources.
Aisuebeogun reasoned that government must get the private sector involved in the development of airport infrastructure to move at the pace needed to end the decay going on at the nation’s airports to be able to meet the passenger demand.
According to him, passenger traffic is growing at 6-7 per cent annually; although it is subjected to other socio-economic variables, such as the growth in GDP and disposable income, especially with the active population (the middle class).
He said the airport infrastructure such as the runway, apron, terminals and others need to be revamped or upgraded in order to avert huge expenditure that would become inevitable in future if action is not taken now.
Aisuebeogun noted that in Nigeria, the private sector is only contributing about 46 per cent of the funds in airport development, which means that government, and its agencies are contributing 54 per cent but in other parts of the world, the private sector is major financier of airport infrastructure.
He said that government needs substantial part of its resources to provide essential needs for the citizenry, so government should expect foreign direct investment to be able to provide the citizens essential needs, which include infrastructure, healthcare and education.