Nigeria is investing N35 billion on airport infrastructure upgrade being among six nations in Africa currently infusing funds into infrastructure development and improving the lot of African airports to be at par with their counterparts worldwide. This is just as the country may introduce a token developmental charge to have return for investment once the projects are done.
The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. George Uriesi disclosed this yesterday while presenting a paper on Airport Regulation, from the Africa perspective at the Airport ongoing Council International Conference and Exhibition in Lome, Togo.
Uriesi said that many countries are investing in their infrastructure and some do not have the passenger figures to gain return for investment. Uriesi said that apart from Egypt and South Africa that have over 30 million passengers annually only eight African countries have a total passenger figure of above seven million.
He further said that in the context of 43 African countries only five have above 10million passengers while three have seven million, eight of those countries have between one and two million passengers and so on.
With this, he said passengers traffic in Africa is not enough to provide the funds for airport development and further explained that this may have led other countries including Tunisia, Mozambique, Togo, Tanzania and Senegal to also invest heavy funds to ensure rapid development in their airports.
Reeling out airport investment figures, Uriesi said that Togo with a passenger figure of 472,000 passengers is currently investing $150million while Zambia with 136 million passengers was investing about $460million and a green field of $500m. Of Nigeria he said, “particularly we are doing this investment without a corresponding airport development levy but I can’t guarantee that we will not put a small development levy.”