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Federal Govt Subsidising 19 Airports In Nigeria – FAAN

Leadership 2024/7/25

… Says only 3 profitable

abuja airport

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), on Tuesday, disclosed that only three out of the nation’s 22 airports in Nigeria are viable and profitable.

Speaking as a guest on the Channels TV morning show, the managing director of FAAN, Olubunmi Kuku, disclosed that 19 of the nation’s airports are being subsidised as they do not get passenger traffic commensurate with their operational cost.

She, however, advised state governors building airports that rather than construct new airports, should focus on boosting manufacturing, trade, and tourism activities in their domains to increase passenger traffic and revenue.

Kuku also stated that the majority of the 22 airports managed by FAAN require maintenance and upgrade in critical infrastructure like the terminal areas, the landside as well as the airside.

“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.”

“Most of the runways at the airports in the country have exceeded the 20-year validity period and they are due for an upgrade,” says Kuku also noting that the airport authority would focus on some of these developmental goals this year.

According to her, economic activities in states where airports are built drive passenger traffic and not the construction of new airports.

“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 stats today, only three of the 22 airports are actually profitable and contribute largely to the sustenance of the airport companies that we run.

Kuku mentioned that FAAN allocates 50 per cent of its revenue to the federal coffers, which presents a significant challenge.

She noted 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.

Kuku emphasised the importance of focusing on key sectors like trade, manufacturing, and tourism to boost airport traffic.

“Rather than building new airports, we need to look at the bottom of the value chain to determine what activities can drive traffic into these airports,” Kuku said.

She added that FAAN is working closely with international organisations, such as the International Air Transport Association and the Federal Ministry of Aviation, to expand domestic and international routes.

Kuku mentioned that there are initiatives aimed at transforming Nigeria and certain airports within the country into transit hubs.

“What that means is that we start to build a network of airports where we can push our feeders to some of the other states or to some of the other locations and start to utilise our airports,” she said.

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

He said that the airports, terminal areas, landslides and air sides as some of those things that require urgent improvements and the amount appropriated may not suffice.

Kuku emphasised that the aviation sector, particularly airports, is critical and requires substantial capital investment.

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