President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed his predecessors for doing little to increase the passenger handling capacity of airport terminals.
Buhari said this on Thursday at the inauguration of the new terminal of the Port Harcourt International Airport in Omagwa, River State.
According to him, the neglect by past governments since the 1980’s, necessitated his government’s efforts to improve airport terminals in the country to meet international standards.
“This ceremony represents a significant landmark for international air travelers, particularly from the South-South region, and the entire country,” he said.
“You will recall 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.
“Following the large increase in national population with the consequent surge in air passenger traffic, the capacity of the airport terminals became woefully inadequate to cater for the increase in passenger traffic.
“Although palliative measures were periodically carried out, the facilities were fast giving-in to the effects of wear and tear.”
He added that “It, therefore, became necessary to take decisive action to ensure our terminals meet minimum international standards for the traveling public.
“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 ageing airport infrastructure to meet global aviation standards and improved service delivery in tandem with best international practices.”