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The despair of Lagos international airport

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Airport, Lagos

Going… going… gone… is the catchphrase that hits your ears when a product is ready to be auctioned.

That is the state in which the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) is headed.

God forbid! Although, it is not like the MMIA is anywhere ready to be put up for auction but it is categorically appalling to know that our beloved country Nigeria; the so-called GIANT of Africa is totally lagging behind in area of the airport infrastructural maintenance.

This is as a result of the dilapidated and unbearable state of our international airport which receives dignitaries from the world over.

It is really saddening that the authorities of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and all the rests have decided to turn deaf ears to the despicable site of our airport; hence, the Minister of Aviation and air transport matters are only dilly-dallying.

Our airport can become a tourist attraction for sight-seeing for guests who arrive the country instead of experiencing an uncoordinated airport environments with touts lurking about the vicinity collecting certain fees openly from travellers before their luggage can be processed, and the improper and shabby ways the various airline staffs handle their operational affairs.

Oops! This is totally horrendous in nature and should not be condoned in any ramifications.

We can always take a cue from our counterparts from other countries and learn about their maintenance culture that we rather prefer to handle with glibness.

Our airports should be the doorway to foreign investors and as such must be properly maintained to remain relevant.

The vice chairman of the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) who is an investor per excellence with stakes in several sectors of the Nigerian economy sometimes ago in an interview said and I quote “we are ready to help upgrade Nigerian airport … if the right reform is implemented.

We all know for certain that the airport is dire needs of upgrade and talking about the right reform being implemented, when are we, as a country going to have things done in the right perspective and with the required urgency?

How long will the awful state of our airport going to suffer before it can be looked into?

Basically, as it is, there is no sustainable and regulatory framework that is put in place for the proper overhauling of the Nigerian international airport and this will become a major setback that will impede the vision 202020.

Of course, we are in need of aviation infrastructure. And if you look at our peers in South Africa and Egypt, we are no match for them in terms of aviation facility upgrade.

Again, the issue of power outage at the airport is ridiculous and debasing to Nigeria and her government.

Or how much does the country need to keep its busiest international airport from running like an oven?

Unarguably, the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos has to be the hottest airport in the world.

Even the Nairobi Airport in Kenya is not as hot as the MMIA.

Ghana’s Kotoko International Airport, Accra as small as it is does not meet you with the repulsiveness the MMIA greets you with.

Not to talk of the Eyadema Airport in Togo, and the Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport in Dakar.

The gloomiest part of this reality is that money is not the reason why we have an airport that makes us look like we are a people without poise and self-esteem.

If plausibly you are inferring why one would allocate a column to an airport of all the heaps of issues fronting Nigeria, please have analteration.

The airport is an indispensable part of a country’s prestige and perception.

‘Any country with a badly managed airport as ours is likely to be as badly managed as our country.’

Come to think of it, how much does it cost to make the air conditioning system work?

What does it cost to make the airport clean enough?

Why should we have people in queue for hours just to go through immigration and security checks?

How much does it cost to have body scanners in our major airports?

Why is Nigeria the only country where, to travel you must have your luggage opened and ransacked by security men?

What is the essence of running the same luggage through electronic security?

The first impression you get about a country upon visiting is the airport.

I know people who travel to other parts of the world but make sure to travel through Dubai simply because of the travel experience.

You will not find a Nigerian who has been outside of this country who is not ashamed of our airport.

Of course, this does not include Nigerians who call things that do not exist as though they were.

The MMIA was modeled after Amsterdam’s Schipol but today the MMIA is worst off.

All thanks to bad and improper management of aviation infrastructure by the authorities involved.

It will be great to see someone in authority do something about the mess that is the MMIA.


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