Reports from New Telegraph newspaper has it that the federal government has spent over N33.09 billion to refurbish nine airports’ runways between 2004 and 2015.
The facilities at the airports are however in bad condition despite the huge amount spent on the said repairs. According to the report, most of the runways are in terrible shape, ridden with potholes and causing danger to life and equipment.
A document quoted in the report indicates that the refurbishing of the airports’ runways actually started in 2003.
See the break down of the cost of repairs in each airport below:
1. The Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos runway (2004) – N3.4 billion; Murtala Muhammad domestic runway (2007) – N3.3 billion
2. Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport runway (2003) – N1.9 billion
3. Port Harcourt Airport runway (2007) – N2.3 billion
4. Margaret Ekpo International Airport,Calabar runway (2011) – N832 million
5. Maiduguri Airport runway (2011) – N499 million
6. Kaduna Airport runway (2010) – N816 million
7. Enugu Airport runway and expansion (2012) – N10 billion
8. Benin Airport runway (2015) – N351 million
9. Abuja Airport runway would soon be resurfaced at a cost of N1.5 billion.
Meanwhile, airline operators and their pilots have raised an alarm over the deteriorating standards of most of the country’s airport runways. They noted that the situation poses danger to lives and equipment, even as they urged the federal government to immediately commence the reconstruction of a second runway for the Abuja airport and quick resurfacing of the Lagos Airport.
Bad and obsolete runway can give rise to major accidents during landing or take off of a flight and with lack of airfield lighting at some of the airports, a tragic accident could occur, experts warn.
In a related development, a recent media report suggests that President Muhammadu Buhari might unknowingly appoint a former government official indicted in the past for corruption as one of the head of the aviation agencies.