The Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Nogie Meggison, has urged the Federal Government to renovate the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) to a world class standard.
Meggison made the appeal while speaking to aviation correspondents in Lagos, on Friday.
He noted that the airport was gradually becoming an embarrassment to the country.
The chairman noted that despite being a first point of contact for passengers disembarking or arriving the country, the terminal had over the years been decaying at an alarming rate.
Megisson said that the airport should be renovated before the completion of the ongoing remodelling at the MMIA.
He noted that parking airplane was becoming a nightmare for operators, a situation, which had led to ground accidents to triple in the past three years.
“Though the passenger processing and baggage collection wings of the terminal had been modernised, the airport is presently in a sorry state.
“The finger bridges are falling apart and decaying rapidly with temperatures over 40c in the afternoons,” the chairman said.
He opined that in a bid to upgrade facilities at the terminal, government should allow interested airlines, banks and blue-chip companies to bid for the 16-finger bridges at the terminal.
Meggison emphasised that at present, 30 per cent of cargo planes could not find space to park at the cargo ramp.
He explained that most of the cargo planes were sent to international wing of the airport from the local wing or had to park on the runway temporarily.
He declared that in his over three decades of becoming a pilot in the sector, the ramp had not been expanded.
Meggison appealed to the present administration to expand the facilities at the airport.
“At the Murtala Mohammed Airport One, the ramp can only take six airplanes. Arik’s early morning departures is a problem.
“As of now, Arik not only uses the maintenance apron for boarding, but now have to park airplanes inside their hangar to board passengers,” he said.
More Youths Engage In Artisanal Refining
As unemployment bites harder amidst rising cost of living, more youths in rural communities in Rivers State are now going into artisanal refining business to earn a living.
The Tide reliably gathered that some youths residing in Port Harcourt City were gradually moving to rural communities for bunkering business otherwise known as ‘kpo-fire’
Narrating his experience to The Tide, Mr Godwin Ibeneme who resides in Rumuekini in Akpor, said he was introduced into the kpor-fire business by his father.
Ibeneme, who hails from Ibaa/ Obelle area of Emohua Local Government Area, said his father compelled him to join other youths who were thriving in the business in the community.
“My father came to my house here in Rumuekini, and told me to come to the village, that other young men are making it through kpo-fire’ bunkering since I have lost my job.
“ I didn’t waste time to give it a trial, because I had really looked for what to do, since I lost my job at a fast-food company. Since then, I can tell you that I have been taking care of myself, unlike before when everything looked hopeless”, he explained.
The Tide also learnt that the kpo-fire’ business was currently thriving in Isiokpo axis of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
A resident of the community who pleaded anonymity, told The Tide that there was a high level of discrimination in the business.
According to him, he decided to engage himself at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, to hustle for his daily bread, instead of staying idle.
The Tide recalls that the Federal Government had promised to build modular refineries in the Niger Delta region since 2019 as an alternative to illegal oil bunkering in the region as well as to create employment for the youth.
The Tide also reports that three years after the promise was made, nothing has been done in that regard.
Oyigbo Cassava Plant, Legacy Project -Akawor
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Amb. Desmond Akawor, says the cassava plant project, being executed by the Rivers State Government in Oyigbo is a legacy project that will generate huge employment for Rivers people.
He said the project was well thought out and would stand the test of time to tackle unemployment as well as ensure food availability in the state.
Akawor made the remarks during an interaction with journalists at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the cassava plant which was supposed to be executed by the previous administrations, was initially planned to be a joint venture between the state government and some organisations, but that the other partners did not pay their counterpart funding.
“The steps taken by the Wike-led administration to bring this project to life without the counterpart funding is commendable, because of the huge economic benefits it will give to the state.
“Many people have also been employed at the construction sites of flyovers being executed by Julius Berger. Eighty percent of those working there are indigenes, while the company provides the expatriates”, he said.
The PDP chairman also hinted on the plans of the state government to privatise the Buguma fish farm and banana farm, among others, so as to make them more viable.
He said that the state government had not abandoned the projects initiated by the previous administration, but was thinking on what to do with them.
Akawor maintained that the employment of 5,000 persons into the civil service was still ongoing, saying the government is only taking time to ensure that indigenes of the state are employed.
PH Airport Resumes Skeletal International Flight Operations
Skeletal flight operations have resumed at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
This follows the lifting of the curfew that was imposed in the state by the Rivers State Government to check cases of insecurity in the state.
The Tide’s checks show that many of the airlines that operate international flights are yet to resume flight operations, even though the coast is clear for them to resume operations.
The Cronaux Airline, it was gathered, is the only airline at the moment that has fully resumed international flight.
Other airlines that operate at the international wing, like the Lufthansa Airline, Turkish Airline, and Ethiopian Airline are yet to resume operations.
The Acting Head of Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Kunle Akinbode, confirmed the resumption of international flight operations at the airport, last Friday, saying the international wing is now open for international airlines to operate.
He explained that the curfew that was imposed in the state delayed the resumption of international flights operations, even when issues of Covid-19 standard protocols had been addressed.
“Now that the curfew is over and the international wing is open for flight operations, it is left for each of the airlines to work out its own schedule for operations.
“It will not be the duty of the airport management to sort things out for them and know when to resume. I know that some have started. Lufthansa has said they will resume next month, August”, Akinbode said.
The Tide reports that the international wing of the Port Harcourt Airport had been shut since the Covid-19 lockdown, and did not reopen when other international airports in Lagos, Abuja and Kano among others reopened for international operations.
Stories by Corlins Walter
- Sports5 days ago
NPFL: Rivers United’s Captain Wants LMC To Apply Rule
- Politics5 days ago
Onochie Makes Case For True Federalism
- Sports5 days ago
Covid-19 Scare: Team Nigeria Undergoes Daily Tests In Tokyo
- Sports5 days ago
Nigeria’s wrestling Sensation, Adekuoroye Excited Over Role In Olympics
- Sports5 days ago
NBA: Milwaukee Star Anxious To Visit Nigeria – Wants To Learn About His Roots
- Business5 days ago
Nigeria To Boost Trade Volume Through ECOWAS TPOs
- Sports5 days ago
Chukwueze, Onuachu Likely To Join Eagles EPL Legion
- News5 days ago
Army Issues Official Vehicles To Sergeant Majors