The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu has called for the stoppage of 40% statutory deduction of its revenue by the Federal Government, saying that the deduction has left the agency needing more funds to provide vital infrastructure at the nation’s aerodromes.
Yadudu made the disclosure on Tuesday at the FAAN’s National Aviation Conference holding in Abuja and which ends on Thursday.
According to him, such a hike in deductions will hurt its operations, especially after the country is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yadudu said that the FAAN management was engaging the Federal Government to exempt her from this deduction. “It should be noted that ICAO’s recommendation in Doc. 9562 stipulates that revenue generated by airports be transparently re-invested wholly in operating and developing airport facilities, he added.
“FAAN has not increased PSC since 2011, despite all the huge capital investments at our airports. The PSC charge of N2,000 was increased from N1,000 and does not correlate with the realities of the cost-related inflation rate which the CBN has put at 12.82%.
Besides, FAAN, until late 2019, was collecting the naira equivalent of PSC at an official rate of N305.50-N344.38 to a dollar when airlines were collecting at the subsisting market rate of about N362 to a dollar.
Yadudu carpeted facilities at the country’s premier airport, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, describing virtually all the facilities at the airport terminal as ‘obsolete’.
He lamented that all the palliative measures at the terminal could no longer work, stressing that the country needs a new terminal.
His words, “We need to construct Lagos airport international airport terminal. All these palliative cannot work. We need a new terminal. All components are obsolete.”
Not a few experts and airport users had continued to decry the ailing state of some of the equipment at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
According to them, the baggage landing, runway, and central cooling system, among others, are more than 40 years old and should be replaced.
Nigerians who travel through the airport in Lagos have also lamented the depreciation of facilities at the terminal, which makes travel a horrible experience.
The passengers decried the limited capacity of the terminal, the broken down air conditioning system, and the obsolete carousel -the conveyor belt- which fails to work most of the time.
When the international terminal for the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos was built and commissioned in 1979, it was planned to be used by one million passengers per annum. Today, it records passenger movement of 12 million per annum, but there is no additional facility to take care of the growing number of passengers that have far outstripped the projection of the planners.
Another uncomplimentary fact is that renovations and maintenance of airport facilities are few and far between and such efforts were usually criticised by passengers who could not stomach the decay of the airport infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the FAAN MD said traffic available to him shows that the Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri ranks as the highest traffic figure in South East while Lagos ranks highest in South West with Abuja the highest in the North with potential to topple Lagos in domestic passenger traffic soon.
“Owerri is one of our big earners in South East. In South West, Lagos ranks highest, and Abuja in the North. Abuja is about overtaking Lagos in domestic traffic and that is understandable because Abuja is at the centre and very strategic”, he added