By Wilson Adekumola
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has explained why the Federal Government has expanded the passenger terminal at the airport in Lagos.
Sirika explained these plans while speaking at the inauguration of expansion of the first phase of the General Aviation Terminal, Terminal Zulu in Lagos, saying the new facility will affords airlines to increase the number of passengers processed at the facility.
The minister said Nigeria’s overpopulation has resulted in the increase of passenger which overwhelmed the available facilities, noting that the facility inaugurated was a product of the plan long-,conceived to expand the terminal as a short term measure to address the situation.
Sirika argued that the recent re- organisation in the sector was approved by President Buhari as part of the road map to consolidate the industry’s growth and development.
He disclosed that the facility consists of brand new protocol lounges, airlines offices, VIP lounges to him, among others to improve on the security and comfort of the passengers.
He said, “The geometric increase in population of Nigeria, which resulted in increase in passenger volume, has overwhelmed available facilities at this terminal. And as part of efforts to address this challenge, the Federal Government at some point developed the Zulu Terminal to complement the existing old terminal, but the capacity limitation situation persisted.
“We therefore evaluated the situation, and decided to expand the terminal, as a short term measure to address the situation. It is our intention to build a new and much bigger domestic terminal in the nearest future.
“The facility we are opening today is a product of that thought, and it is only the first phase of the project. As soon as we put this to use, we hope the incoming administration will continue with the second phase.
“As you will be seeing in due course, this facility contains brand new protocol lounges, airline office spaces, VIP lounges, with the complements of conveniences that will enhance safety, security and comfort of our esteemed passengers.
“The project started early last year, and I am glad the first phase was completed in record time, and is being opened today. I am confident that this facility will enhance passenger facilitation at this terminal, and also improve the revenue generation of FAAN.”