Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, has stated that efforts were being made to resolve the outstanding problems with the foreign currency owned by multinational airlines that are currently stranded in Nigeria.
Lai Mohammed said this while touring the facility at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos’ new terminal.
Mohammed added that the Lagos airport’s newly finished Terminal Two had the capacity to handle 14 million passengers annually.
Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, led the minister, his entourage, and journalists on a tour of the brand-new airport terminal.
Speaking on the concerns of foreign airlines operating in Nigeria, Lai said;
On the trapped funds, I can tell you that the relevant authorities are working hard on that issue.
The minister also stated that the new international terminal was not built to replace MMIA’s terminal one, but to complement it.
That is why we were told that you could check in at one terminal and board at the other, so there is a handshake between the two terminals. It was the first terminal added to the original terminal since it was built some 30 years ago.
The Terminal Two project started in 2013 and was completed by the present administration in 2022 under a bilateral agreement with the People’s Republic of China. No administration in the history of Nigeria has done this much, especially at a time of scarcity of resources.
Lai also disclosed that over 10,000 direct and indirect job opportunities had been created in the new terminal.
He said the edifice, replicated in Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Enugu, and Kano airports, was a testament to the achievements of the Federal Government in infrastructure development.
Speaking on the facilities and fittings in the terminal, the minister said;
I must confess it was an exhilarating experience comparable to what obtains anywhere in the world.
On the air bridge ramp and the interface, one of the things the terminal manager told us is that not only is this airport in use but you can actually board your flights and check-in here. You can arrive in one terminal and pick up your luggage in another terminal and this has taken care of the issue of interface between the two terminals.
I was here 40 years ago when the first terminal was inaugurated. There is a time between the inauguration of an airport and when the airport becomes operational. You know aviation is unforgiven of any mistake.