In a few weeks time, Improved human and cargo traffic is expected at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA, in Kano, northwest Nigeria, with the approval of the operation of the Turkish and Emirate airlines in the airport.
The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah promised Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Abdullahi Bayero that before the end of March, the two international airlines will have commenced operation in MAKIA.
Oduah was in Kano on Friday for the commissioning of MAKIA’s Remodeled International Terminal.
The Aviation Minister also revealed that plans have been concluded to build Cargo Terminal at MAKIA to boost the exportation of goods and perishable items from agricultural products.
According to her, she was pleased that at last, the lost glory of MAKIA is being restored, pointing out that recent development and improvements seen in the airports across the country were part of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The Special Guest of Honour at the occasion who also commissioned the project, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi urged the Aviation Minister to ensure that all the modern facilities put in place in the airports across the country are maintained.
He commended the Aviation Minister over the level of achievement so far recorded in the aviation industry and urged her to sustain the tempo.
“I am greatly honoured to be part of this event today because this is something we are all passionate about. At the Emir’s Palace, he reminded us that when the first air plane landed in Nigeria; and in this city of Kano, his father was the only one that agreed to enter it.
“I am pleased to commission this project today, because my great grand-father commissioned the airport, my grand-father commissioned the International Terminal, and I am commissioning this one today, so please, like I said, we should imbibe maintenance culture, not only in MAKIA but in all the airports across the country,” he stated.
He also registered the CBN desire to continue partnership with the Aviation Ministry to ensure that sanity and decency returns in Nigeria’s airports.
“There is no way one can visit all the airports and say that things are not working. With the level of commitment and diligence we have seen in the Aviation sector, this country would have been better if other ministries and parastatals are performing as such,” he stated.
Sanusi Lamido also faulted arguments that the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah marginalized MAKIA, pointing out that, “if the Ministry doesn’t want international airlines to come to Kano, why building International Terminal; why approving the operation of foreign airlines such as the Turkish and the Emirate in Kano airport.”
Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso appealed to the Aviation Minister to look into the case of Sky and Ethiopian Airlines which has both indicated interest to operate in MAKIA, adding that his administration will continue to support the Ministry of Aviation so as to ensure that MAKIA regain its lost glory.
According to him, recently, his administration donated a Baggage Scanning Machine valued at N24 million.
He urged the Minister of Aviation to address urgent issues begging for attention at MAKIA to include the Conveyor Belt which is of low capacity, facilitate the functioning of the new Control Tower which equipment were brought since 2007 and abandoned, the Run-way 05 which is not in use should also be rehabilitated.
The Emir of Kano, in his Palace, expressed happiness over the face-lift in MAKIA and urged the Aviation Minister and indeed, the Federal Government to do even more so as to ensure more patronage of airlines and boosted economic activities at the airport.
Those who accompanied Princess Oduah to Kano include the chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Mr. Ossi George Afamefuna; and the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. George E. Uriesi.