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President Buhari and top government officials commissioning the new terminal on Thursday / Photo: Bahir Ahmad

New international terminal at Abuja airport opens

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the newly-built international terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The terminal is said to be the biggest in West Africa and it has the capacity to process at least 15 million passengers annually.

While commissioning the facility on Thursday, the President said the federal government was committed to making Nigeria an aviation hub, noting that the event represents yet another significant milestone for international air travellers in and out of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Terminal is the first airport terminal to be connected to the rail transport system in the country and indeed in the region.

In his address at the occasion, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, noted that the commissioning is the second in the series of Airport terminals to be commissioned from the projects funded by the China-Exim bank loan of $500m with a counterpart funding of $100m from the debt management office. Buhari had commissioned the Port Harcourt International Airport Terminal in October.

Sirika explained that from political and economic perspectives, the Abuja airport is very strategic to Nigeria not only because it is the gateway to the nation’s capital but also because it the second busiest airport in the country and the fastest growing in passenger traffic in West and Central Africa, with an average growth rate of 8%, where the world average growth is 5.8%. The airport processed 5,709,012 passengers in 2017.

The new terminal has, among others, the following facilities: 72 check-in counters, five baggage collection carousels, 28 immigration desks at arrival and 16 at departure, eight security screening points, eight passenger boarding bridges and walkway to link the FCT metro rail.

Kola Tella

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