The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on Thursday in Abuja said that the construction of a second runway at Nnambdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) would be completed by November 2023. Sirika made this known when he received the National Assembly joint committee (Senate and House of Representatives) on Aviation at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja for oversight function.
According to him, the Federal Government is ready to speedily finance the project from the mobilisation stage to the final stage.
Sirika , who stated that the contract was supposed to be for a period of 12 months, added that the maintenance would be for another 12 months.
The minister affirmed that the project would be delivered before the end of the current government.
“The work has commenced in harness, and it is our intention to deliver the project as soon as possible.
It is practicable.
Government is committed to this project and to fund it.
“We are here with the two committees of National Assembly (NASS), the Senate and House Representative with their Chairmen on oversight and particularly on this spot.
“This is where the much awaited Second runway is coming.
As you can see the contractor has been mobilised to site, “ he said.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation, Mrs Abiodun Olujimi, commended Sirika for efforts made so far to kick start the project.
She promised that the NASS would keep supporting the project toward completion as scheduled.
“Just as the minister said, we came on an oversight visit to the site of the second runway.
It has been pending for a very long time.
“ You remember at a particular time, the airport had to be shut down because we had only one runway and it was bad.
So, it is the initiative of the minister to ensure that the second runway took effect.
“We are grateful that we are here and we have seen that the contractors are mobilised.
They are here and they are working.
The minister just said that the funding would be approved constantly, “ she said.
Speaking, Mr Nnolim Nnaji, Chairman House of Representative on Aviation, said the second runway was necessary as Abuja happened to be the Capital of Nigeria.
Nnaji expressed optimism that all relevant stakeholders would synergies and cooperate to ensure quick completion of the project.
“ We have been expecting this construction to take off, for some time now we have been funding a budget to accommodate for the second runway.
“ Abuja being the capital of Nigeria with an aggressive infrastructural development and economic base, we feel it is important to have another runway which is very important .
“This runway, when completed will be the longest runway possibly in west Africa, which is about 4.2 KM.
against the existing one that is about 3.7km,“ he said.
According to him, the second runway is coming with a control tower, taxi way and other facilities.
In the second phase of this project we will have a terminal building around this place.
He said the project that was at the mobilisation stage at present would cost 72 billion naira for the construction.
“As we are happy with the minister, we also congratulate ourselves to be part of this success story.
“We will be here to witness as the chairman of the committee and members of the Aviation committee the commissioning of this project, “he said.
Contributing, Sen. Smart Adeyemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, said he came to consider the level of compensation to be given to the indigenes and farmers, whose economic trees were affected.
He commended Sirika for the landmark achievement regarding the commencement of the project.
According to him, all relevant stakeholders under the current administration should be proud of it.
“My involvement here is to look at the length of the route and have an idea of the compensation that will arise from the economic trees, to be given to the indigenous people of this territory.
“The 20222023 budget of the FCT is still with us.
My coming here is to see how we can probably inject some funding to meet the needs of the indigenous people,“ he said.
“ This is to ensure peaceful construction of work and to secure the prayer and support of the indigenes for this project,“ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the new Cargo terminal and Nigeria Air headquarters buildings were also visited.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has recovered 46.637 kilograms of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in seven states across Nigeria.
Mr Femi Babafemi, Director Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.
The seven states are: Enugu, Kogi, Ondo, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Lagos and the FCT.
Babafemi said one 27-year-old Miracle Madu was arrested on Oct. 26 at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu with substance suspected to be cocaine.
The suspect came into Nigeria aboard Ethiopian Airline from Nairobi, Kenya via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He said a search on Madu revealed that he had 76 foreign bathing soaps made with cocaine in one of his three bags which weighed 10.650 kilograms.
The NDLEA spokesman said that the the suspect also had creams made of liquid cocaine weighing 2.496 kilograms.
Babafemi added that a further search showed two plastic bottles containing liquid which tested positive for cocaine.
“The cocaine in the soap weighed 10.650 kilograms, while that in the liquid and cream weighed 2.496 kilograms, making it 13.146 kilograms,” he said.
The agency spokesperson also said operatives on stop and search operation along Okene-Abuja highway, intercepted a Chisco branded bus coming from Lagos to Abuja on Oct. 27. “The bus was with a consignment of 32.9kgs Meth packaged as tubers of yam, 376 grams of cocaine and 215 grams of heroin.
“While the bus driver, Pascal Nmaram was promptly arrested, a follow up operation in Abuja same day led to the arrest of the recipient of the illicit cargo, Ikenna Akunne.
“The suspect confessed he was detailed to travel with the consignment to Spain the following day being Oct. 28 through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja,” he said.
Babafemi disclosed that operatives of the Kogi Command of the agency have destroyed five hectares of cannabis farms at Agbonkete, Iyaya Camp, Igalamela-Odolu areas of the state.
He said that one Augustine Agbenyo, 34, was arrested with three bags containing fresh dried leaves and stems of substance suspected to be cannabis.
In Lagos, Babafemi disclosed that operatives of the agency seized 146,000 pills of Tramadol weighing 225mg in a buy and bust operation in Oshodi area on Oct. 25. “In the FCT, operatives on patrol along Kwali-Abuja highway on Oct. 24, intercepted a truck with 915.8 kilograms of cannabis and arrested three suspects: Kabiru Ibrahim, 40; Muhammad Muawiyya, 30, and Adamu Adamu, 24. “In Adamawa, operatives arrested two trans-border traffickers, Abdullahi Mamuda (aka Mama) and Aliyu Abdullahi (aka Garga) at Skylight Hotel in Jambutu, Yola North,” he said.
According to him, “A search on the ash coloured Toyota Corolla car with registration number JMT 146 TE (Adamawa), revealed they were carrying 39, 320 tablets of Tramadol weighing 225mg,” he said.
Babafemi said that preliminary investigation showed that the trans-border traffickers took off from Onitsha in Anambra and travelled to Jimeta, Adamawa enroute Cameroun before their arrest.
In Ondo State, he said that the agency stormed a two-bedroom bungalow in Uso Community on Oct. 28, where they arrested one Okon Etim, 45, with 12 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 207kgs.
The Federal Government has announced the selected preferred and reserve bidders for Nigerian airports concession.
Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, made the announcement when he addressed newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, the preferred bidder for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, is Corporacion America Airports Consortium, while ENL Consortium has also been selected as the reserve bidder for NAIA.
Sirika said the preferred bidder for the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, is Plant Limited (PPL) Consortium while Consortium has also been selected as the reserve bidder for MMIA.
He further said that the preferred bidder for the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, is Corporacion America Airports Consortium while there are no reserve bidders for MAKIA for now.
The minister stated that Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Port Harcourt, did not receive any proposals when the Request for Proposal (RFP) deadline closed.
“The Federal Government, in line with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (establishment, etc.
) Act, 2005, and global best practice, is ready to inform all stakeholders, local and international, development partners and the media on development regarding airports concession.
`The Request for Proposals (RFP) phase of the Nigeria Airports Concession Programme (NACP), came to a close on the 19 of September 2022. Sirika said that the ministry is in consultation with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and other stakeholders for the fourth airport asset which did not receive bids as at the time of the RFP deadline.
The minister said the process was a multistage process, adding that the final outcome of the NACP is yet to come.
“The next stage of the programme is the negotiations and due diligence stage, during which the ministry will invite preferred bidders to enter detailed negotiations with its representatives, with a view to developing a Full Business Case (FBC) before onward transmission to ICRC for review and approval.
“Only after a successful conclusion of the negotiation and due diligence stage will the FBC and all other approvals be presented before the Federal Executive Council for final approval by the Federal Government,” he said.
Sirika urged all participants who had responded to RFP to continue referring to the NACP website — www.
ng, where all updates and relevant documentation, including updated FAQs, could be found.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has thwarted attempt by a 32-year-old businesswoman, Mrs Pamela Odin to traffic 2.150kg tablets of Rohypnol through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the mother of one was arrested on Sept. 23 while attempting to board a Turkish airline flight with the drug concealed inside pepper and packed among foodstuff.
He said that the suspect, an indigene of Afiesere village, Ughelli North Local Government in Delta, claimed she operates a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey.
“She claimed to come to Nigeria to see her relatives and buy food items for her restaurant business,” Babafemi added.
Meanwhile, two Malians: Mohammed Demoele, 38 and Coulibaly Maliki, 56, have been arrested by officers of the Marine Unit of the NDLEA at Ebute Ero jetty in Lagos.
Babafemi said that the suspects were arrested for attempting to export 34.2kg bottles of a new psychoactive substance, Akuskura, to Mali through Cotonou, Benin Republic.
In another development, NDLEA operatives on Sept., 29 intercepted 100 compressed blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 73.500kg, concealed inside animal feeds in Taraba.
Babafemi said that a physically challenged drug dealer, Abdulrahman Mohammed was also arrested with 104kg of compressed cannabis sativa.
He said that the the suspect was arrested on Saturday in Ogun by NDLEA operatives.
“Another suspect, Ms. Safiya Bello, was also arrested in Shagamu area of the state with 27kg of the psychotropic substance,” he added.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the officers and men at the NAIA, Taraba and Ogun commands for their resilience.
Marwa charged them and others across the country to intensify ongoing offensive action against drug cartels and traffickers wherever they may be located in any part of Nigeria.
Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has applauded the yearly increase in passengers traffic at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) , Abuja.
Yadudu, who was represented by the FAAN Director of Airport Operation, Capt. Muktar Muye, made the commendation on Thursday in Abuja during his goodwill message at the NAIA 40th anniversary.
According to him, as at Aug. 2022, NAIA has processed 3,247,484 domestic and 638, 502 international passengers.
FAAN boss affirmed that Abuja airport had eight domestic airlines operating with a daily average of 65 flights and 11,774 passengers and 12 international carriers with an average of 10 flights and 3,034 passengers daily.
“NAIA is not just one of Nigeria’s most important airports in terms of positioning, capacity and revenue generation; it is also the airport that serves Nigeria’s FCT, the seat of national governance, so it is both strategic and highly significant.
“Just like the stages in the product life cycle, a concept in marketing; which are introduction, growth, maturity and decline, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja came into being 40 years ago.
“ I am glad that the airport has continued to grow in leaps and bounds since then, “ he said According to him, in the year 2021 for example, a total of 5,323,905 passengers were processed through the airport, which was a whopping 37.23 per cent increase on the year 2020 figures.
On facility upgrade, Yadudu said the airport had been quite progressive notwithstanding that the airport was closed to flight operations for comprehensive runway rehabilitation in 2017. He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government completed and commissioned a world-class, brand new international terminal with a passenger processing capacity of 15million per annum at NAIA in 2018. “Terminal D of the airport was also completed and commissioned, while the airport has been linked to the railway line in Abuja, making for seamless movement of passengers to and from the airport.
“Additionally, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audited the airport and certified it safe and secure for flight operations, with 96 per cent score in 2018. “The process of recertification has commenced and it’s currently ongoing.
The Federal Government has also approved the construction of the second runway for the NAIA, The trajectory of progress has been upward ever since.
“ Passengers and stakeholders have commended the level of facilities and service delivery at the airport.
NAIA was adjudged the `Best Airport in Safety for the year 2018 by Airport Council International, Africa Region, “ he said.
He added that the airport also received ACI’s Airport Service Quality Award in the year 2020, amongst several others.
He affirmed that NAIA would continue to wax stronger and stronger as it was celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Yadudu also commended the invaluable contributions of partners and stakeholders, the past and the present FAAN staff in the last 40 years.
“The milestone being celebrated today could not have been achievable without your hard work and cooperation.
A line in the first stanza of Nigeria’s National Anthem states ‘Labour of our Heroes Past, Shall Never Be in Vain’.
“So, as we continue to celebrate this notable feat, I want to charge you all to continue to strive harder to deliver the best possible service to our highly esteemed passengers at this airport.
“ I urge you all the stakeholders to progressively consolidate on the labour of our heroes past in this airport.
“We must continue to improve on our service delivery.
I am confident that the NAIA, and other airports in Nigeria will be ranking amongst the best of airports in the world, in no distant time, “ he added.
In another development, the FAAN Regional General Manager, Mr Kabir Mohammed, officially launched the pay parking system at NAIA.
According to him, the system will address parking indiscriminately in the airport and further add to the ambience of the airport.
Mohammed, however, said that airport users would be allowed to park their cars free from now till Oct 1, from when an undisclosed amount would be paid.
He said the management of FAAN intensified efforts to ensure that staff were as disciplined and highly professional as possible at their duties` posts.
He said that the authority was also making efforts to ensure airport users abide by rules and regulations.
“we are inculcating a level of discipline whereby staff are said to be as professional as possible.
“ We make sure that airport users also live within those rules and regulations that guide their usage of the airport, “ he said.
The Regional General Manager, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Kabir Muhammed, has said that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja ,will be fully automation before 2032. Muhammed made this known on Wednesday in Abuja at the unveiling of the 3D signage that was installed to publicise the 40th anniversary of airport.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the NAIA started operations on Sept. 29, 1982. Muhammed said that the authority was working assiduously to upgrade all the facilities at the airport to ensure complete automated before 2032 when the airport would be 50 years old.
“By the time the Abuja airport will be 50 years, I want to believe that every facility at the airport will be automated.
We already have a car parking system which we are currently automating.
He said robust effort was being made to enhance security via enlightenment awareness to enable passengers to understand that airport is a highly regulated environment.
“ If you are not travelling, you have no reason to be inside the airport.
Drivers may bring in passengers and what they need to do is to drop off the passengers and leave.
“In order to enhance security situation, the management of FAAN is employing aviation security personnel and training them to ensure that the airport remains secure, “he said.
According to him, the airport management is observing international best practices in order to sustain the security and safety of goods and passengers.
He said the FAAN Taxi app would be fully operational soonest.
Muhammed recalled that the Abuja which airport started with one module now has four modules operating domestic, regional and international flights.
He said about 35 local and foreign airlines were operating at the NAIA.
The Federal Government says the African Aviation and Aerospace University (AAAU), Abuja, will open for registration from Sept. 26 to Nov. 18. The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, disclosed this on Friday during a media chat in his office in Abuja.
According to him, the institution will start with B.
Sc Aviation Business and B.
Sc Meteorology and later advance to M.
Sc Air Transport Management in 2023 academic session.
“These are the parts we discussed with the National Universities Commission (NUC).
We will soon unveil the website, which is www.
“However, this will be available soon because we still need to conclude some steps with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) toward activating the website.
“Indeed, it has taken a long time since 2016. We have been on it because it is rigorous exercise.
We need to go through it all with the Commission.
NUC has been very cooperative and supportive,” he said.
Sirika said the federal government would sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) hopefully on Monday with Nile University in Abuja for cooperation and partnership in running the university.
According to him, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) headquarters building at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) will serve as temporary headquarters for the university.
The minister further said that some of the lectures would also be done at Nile University.
Sirika stated that the federal government had given the university land allocation close to the NAIA area for its permanent campus.
According to him, the university is going to be a hybrid university – on campus and online.
“We have the provisional approval by the NUC to continue.
When we satisfy all necessary conditions, then we will have a permanent approval.
“So, for the startup, we will be needing dormitory, cafeteria, laboratories and so on.
We will be partnering with Nile University here in Abuja, ” he said.
He said establishing the university was part of the aviation roadmap to bridge the gap of well-trained aviation personnel and lack of capacity in the sector by correcting inherited inefficiency.
According to him, the institution will be dedicated to provision of a high level of management manpower to run the aviation system in Nigeria from the present to the future.
“Also, we think that it is high time the country went through Research and Development in aerospace and aviation.
“The university will be privatised for more efficiency and more focus to address what is going wrong in our industry like lack of capacity to understand the business itself.
“Aviation is an exact science and technology.
It is a very serious discipline and very dynamic in nature.
You need to move in speed with it.
There is a need for capacity and knowledge to run the business,” he said.
According to the minister, there is need to advance knowledge in aviation to boost national economy to raise Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“As for me as a minister, not the government, this is the most important legacy the administration will leave behind for the coming generation,” he said.
Aviation industry unions have called on Federal Government to remove the section that empowers the Minister of Aviation to prohibit industrial actions by unions.
Comrade Dauda Nanbol, FCT Council Chairman, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), who addressed the newsmen during a protest at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja made this known on Monday.
The unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP).
Others are National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).
According to him, the newly signed Civil Aviation Act (CAA) exempted unions from all instruments of their actions like strike, picketing, lock out among others to be carried out.
“ These are instruments of our struggles as enshrined in IAO Convention.
We are comrades.
This is our right, and we stand by our right at every point in time.
“We will feel dissatisfied with anything that concerns our welfare as workers in Nigeria.
We have the right to protest, and this right we will defend it.
We will not let anybody to take it away from us.
“ We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari not to accent to that bill.
It is anti-labour.
That bill is against aviation workers and united we stand.
We will make sure that we win this struggle.
“ According to him, the unions give government two weeks ultimatum from Monday to correct the irregularity or face a total shut down of aviation the sector.
He affirmed that the unions would make use of all instruments at their disposal to carry out the struggle to achieve success if the government refused to omit the section.
“We are talking as our right as workers.
If workers in aviation sector are not certified, what do you think will happen to the sector?
A lot of things will be compromised.
“Give workers their right.
Workers will do their works diligently and the aviation sector will grow rapidly, “ he added.
A 53-year old Brazilian returnee, Okolie Nwabueze, has been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for allegedly importing 92 wraps of cocaine.
This is even as Nwabueze, a father of two, ingested the drugs and eventually excreted them after days under observation in the Agency’s facility.
This is contained in a statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi on Sunday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the suspect who hailed from Mmaku village, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, was arrested on Sept. 2.The arrest was upon his arrival on Qatar Airline flight enroute Brazil-Doha-Abuja.
The NDLEA spokesperson said that the suspect claimed to have left Nigeria to Mozambique in 2004 and finally relocated to Brazil in 2017.This, he added, was where he obtained a residence permit before deciding to import the illicit substance for a $4,000 fee.
In the same vein, a 42-year old man, Aliyu Kwasare, was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, (MAKIA), Kano.Babafemi said that the suspect was caught for attempting to export a consignment of new psychoactive substance, “Akuskura”, to Saudi Arabia.
He said that the suspect, an indigene of Kware LGA Sokoto, who lived in Goron Dutse area of Kano, was arrested on Sept. 5.He said arrested during the outward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight to Riyadh.
In another development, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja Lagos, no fewer than 1.099 million tablets of Tramadol (225mg) have been seized.
Babafemi said the drugs were intercepted through inter-agency collaboration between NDLEA and the Nigerian Customs.
“The pharmaceutical opioids packed in 50 cartons weighing 2,058.90kg, were imported from Pakistan via Addis-Ababa on Ethiopian Airways.
“The consignment was concealed among other non-controlled pharmaceuticals.
“Also, a freight agent, Aliyu Abubakar, was on Friday arrested at the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) export shed of the airport.
“The arrest was over an attempt to export a consignment of cannabis concealed inside bottles of Caro white body lotion, ” he said.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested two ladies and six men over alleged attempts to import hundreds of cocaine pellets into Nigeria.
Besides, the suspects were alleged to have attempted to export 255mg of Tramadol tablets among other illicit drugs to Europe.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Femi Babafemi, the Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, issued on Sunday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the suspects had attempted to beat security at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA), Abuja; Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu, and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos.
He said the streaks of arrests and seizures began on Sunday July 17 when a 52-year-old father of three was arrested.
This, he said, followed his arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia via an Ethiopian airline flight at the Abuja airport, and was discovered to have ingested 76 pellets of cocaine.
“During preliminary interview, the suspect who hails from Enugu Ezike, Igbo Eze LGA, Enugu state, said he was into sales of women’s wigs and hair attachment before veering into the drug trade.
“He has since completed excreting all the 76 wraps of the drug he swallowed while under observation at the Agency’s facility in Abuja,” he said.
The NDLEA spokesman said that another father of three was arrested on the same day in an operational synergy between NDLEA and the Nigeria Customs Service at the NAIA.
Babafemi said that the 42-year-old suspect from Umuahia in Abia state was arrested during an inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight from Addis Ababa with 529 pellets of cocaine weighing 11.70kg concealed in his bag.
“In his statement to anti-narcotic officers, the suspect claimed he was promised N2 million.
“The suspect said that he planned to use the proceeds to boost his business upon successful delivery of the cocaine consignment in Abuja,” the NDLEA official said.
Babafemi said that NDLEA operatives also on Saturday, July 23, arrested a 29-year-old woman at the Enugu airport upon arrival on Ethiopian airline flight from Addis Ababa.
He said that a search of her luggage led to the discovery of 2.192kg of cocaine concealed in two designer women’s handbags with false linings.