The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N13bn for the automation of safety equipment at Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports.

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The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the FEC virtual meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, also approved $3.1bn for the automation of the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service.

The Ministers of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, and Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, made this known to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting in Abuja.

Sirika expressed optimism that the safe tower projects, when completed, would increase efficiency and reduce the workload of air controllers in the affected airports.

He said, “Today, civil aviation submitted a memorandum to the council which was consequently approved.

“The memo is to upgrade and refurbish the safe tower equipment in four airports; Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.

“This is just to increase the efficiency of the airports and reduce the workload in the control tower and to automate what was hitherto analog systems to digital.

“Quick example is all of the data we collect at the end of the runways within the airports will now be displayed instantly on our platform in the control tower.

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“Information regarding weather, regarding all of the components of weather, winds, rain, macroburst, etc will be displayed automatically.

“So, the issue of giving out weather reports every hour will change to give you instant weather which will improve the pilot efficiency and the workload on the controller is reduced and it can handle more flights into the airport.

“The total contract sum is N13.122, 230, 999.17.’’

He further explained that the payment of the contract sum would be in two parts.

“First component which is a foreign component is €28,489,565 million while the naira component is N3.491,504,488.31.

“Of course, there will be 7.5 per cent added VAT. It will be for completion period of 12 months.’’