The Federal Government has approved N106 billion for the construction of 11 new international airport terminal buildings, Aviation Minister Stella Oduah announced yesterday.
Oduah told a news conference in Abuja that the amount was approved at the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.
She said the new international terminal projects were different from the ongoing remodeling and reconstruction of 11 airports in the country.
She said the 11 new projects would include five international terminals for commercial flights and six for perishable cargoes.
Oduah also said that the FEC had given approval for the award of contracts for the “immediate take off of construction work on the five terminals for international flights.
They are Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu.
The six perishable cargo terminals will be in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Asaba.
Oduah said that the projects were part of the government’s road map to achieve its transformation agenda in the aviation sector.
“The second phase in our implementation strategy of the Road Map which falls under the medium term programme of action is the construction of five new international terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu.
“Only yesterday, we achieved a significant milestone in this regard when Mr President and the FEC graciously granted approval for the award of contract for the immediate take-off of construction work on these terminals.
“For us as a ministry and government, we consider this development a huge opportunity to put to practical effect, the present administration’s Transformation Agenda,” Oduah said.
The minister said that the first phase of the remodeling and construction of 11 airports would be completed in the next 90 days, while the contract for the second phase of another 11 airports would take two years before completion.
She explained that the projects were to be executed with a concessionary loan from China Nexim Bank in 22 years with 5 years moratorium at an interest rate of 2 per cent. Oduah added that mobilisation to site by the contractors was expected to commence in the next 90 days. “What this means is that before the end of the lifespan of this administration, we would have been able to bequeath to Nigerians the airports of their dreams.
“Our dream is to also strive to transform Nigeria’s aviation sector into a major contributor to the nation’s GDP and the airports are pivotal to the actualisation of this dream. “The award of contracts for the construction of the new international airport terminals will, therefore, be a significant first step in this direction,” she said. Oduah said the third phase of the implementation strategy of the aviation transformation was the Aerotropolis project — airport cities that provide clusters of businesses.
According to her, the Aerotropolis will provide businesses in manufacturing, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) amongst others. “Recently, we embarked on an international Investors’ Road Show to China, Canada and the United States of America (USA) to market the huge opportunities that abound for investment in the nation’s aviation sector.
“Again, I am very happy to inform you that our team was not only well received in those countries, but also quite significant, is the fact that the trip has begun to yield great results.
“In a few days’ time, I shall be returning to China to sign a contract for the take off of construction work on the five brand new terminals. We shall also use the opportunity to conclude discussions with the investors that have shown tremendous interest and enthusiasm to invest in the Aerotroplis project,” Oduah said.
Eleven airports that are currently undergoing reconstruction are Murtala Muhammed International Airport and the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa; the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. Others are Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, Yakubu Gowon Airport, Jos; the airports in Yola, Kaduna and Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.
GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations
Against the backdrop of renewed piracy and hostage-taking incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, have commenced a security engagement aimed at joint security initiatives to tackle the situation.
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.
Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.
Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers
The Nigerian Army, 6 Division, has announced that it would commence its annual range classification exercise from yesterday to Sunday, June 27.
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.
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