The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Olubunmi Kuku, has given reasons why more allocation is required for the upgrade of airports inspite the allocation of N23.1bn.

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According to the FAAN MD,
terminal areas, land sides and air sides are some of the areas that require urgent improvements.

Speaking during an interview on The Morning Brief, a Channels TV programme, on Tuesday, the MD stressed the importance of the aviation sector, particularly airports, as being critical and requiring substantial capital investment.

She said ”When you refer to N23.1 billion or N23 billion, it may not actually scratch the surface if you look at where we are in terms of infrastructure development and upgrades.

“Yes, we do have some money earmarked for capital-intensive projects this year, and maybe slightly more. What I do want to say is that the Federal Government, through FAAN actually has 22 airports under our domain, which we manage”.

She explained that the authority is subsidizing the remaining 19 airports and will extend this support to some of the new airports under development.

“We also have about six or seven airports that are either owned by state governments or private individuals or entities, which we also support with either aviation security or fire and rescue services.

“We have a number of states in the north as well as in the south-west that are coming up with new airports.

“I would say that based on the statistics today, only three of the 22 airports are actually profitable and contribute largely to the sustenance of the airport companies that we run.

“I would also say that we are actually cross-subsidising the other 19 airports today and in most instances, we will substitute or cross-subsidise for some of the airports that are coming on board as well.”

Kuku mentioned that FAAN allocates 50 per cent of its revenue to federal coffers, which presents a significant challenge, noting that the authority is currently in talks with different branches of government to seek relief.

She explained that passenger traffic is influenced more by gross domestic product growth and economic activities than by the construction of new airports.

She revealed that almost 4 million passengers travel internationally from Nigeria, stressing the importance of efficient infrastructure use for the upkeep and sustainability of these facilities.