The Nigeria government is gradually fulfilling the promises it made on the provision of critical infrastructure in all parts of the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari said this on Thursday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, while inaugurating the new terminal at Port Harcourt International Airport.
President Buhari recalled that he made the pledge to Nigerians when he presented the 2017 appropriation bill to the National Assembly, which comprises representatives of citizens from all parts of the country.
“At the presentation of the 2017 Budget to the National Assembly, I promised to upgrade and develop Nigeria’s transport, power and health infrastructure, and complete a number of stalled infrastructure projects. These include construction of new terminals at the country’s five major airports; numerous major road projects; key power transmission projects; and the completion of the Kaduna – Abuja as well as Itakpe to Warri Railway lines.
“As part of the infrastructure renewal program, the construction of four new international terminals at Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano airports was embarked upon by the Federal Government with a view to modernising the aging airport infrastructure to meet global aviation standards and improved service delivery in tandem with best international practices.
“Today’s commissioning is an example of Government’s deliberate policy to sustain the development of infrastructure for economic growth in all geo political zones of the country.”the President said.
He said that the building of new terminals at the country’s major terminals was to meet up with International standards.
“Today’s commissioning is an example of Government’s deliberate policy to sustain the development of infrastructure for economic growth in all geo-political zones of the country.This ceremony represents a significant landmark for International air travellers, particularly from the South South region, and the entire Country.
“You will recall that after opening the major airport terminals in the country in the late 70s and early 80s, not much was added to increase the passenger handling capacity of these facilities by successive administrations. Following the large increase in national population with consequent surge in air passenger traffic, the capacity of the airport terminals became woefully inadequate to cater for the increase in passenger traffic.
“The Federal Government responded to a global trend in which aviation became a catalyst for economic growth as a result of massive and speedy movement of persons, goods and services in a safe and secure manner,” he said.
He said Nigeria’s central location is also an added advantage, which the country was ready to explore.
“Nigeria having an advantageous central location within the sub-region and our desire to develop into a regional air transportation hub, must upgrade its facilities to take advantage of its assets. The recent decision by the Federal Government to remove Value Added Tax from domestic air transportation is in line with global best practices.
This will make air travel more affordable and subsequently lead to the creation of jobs by the air transport service value chain as well as increase revenues for government,” he said.
The Nigerian leader also praised the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, particularly Aviation, the Chinese government and the China Exim Bank for their financial support and the various roles they played leading to the successful completion of the project.