FAAN’s Managing Director attributes failure of agency to replace faulty escalators and lifts at Abuja Airport to due process in government and funding. Describes situation in Abuja airport as a legacy problem
The House of Representatives has expressed dismay over the deplorable state of airports in the country.
Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Rep. Nnolim Nnaji (PDP, Enugu), at a public hearing with the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, on Wednesday, lamented the situation, which he says has persisted over a long period of time.
“We are concerned about our airports. Over a long period of time, we realized the escalators and lifts are not functioning, the air-conditioning systems sometimes has leakages, and the scanners have problems too. This is why we are here to find out why our airports are not functioning. If it is other countries, they may decide to close down the terminal buildings because of the condition.“Also, people with disabilities are complaining because, they cannot even use the facilities. It is a problem.”
The committee also queried FAAN over the demolition of houses said to be on airport land in Lagos.
“Part of our concern is the demolition going on in Lagos. You know we speak for the people. So, whatever concerns people affects us. That is why we decided to call you to find out what is going on in Lagos. We are not against any exercise but, we really want to know what is going on there.”
In his response, FAAN MD, who explained that the escalators and lifts are due for change owing to age, assured that the problems are being addressed.
“I believe it mostly revolves around Abuja airport. It is something we have seen and spent the past months trying to fix it. But the lifts and escalators came with the airport and have been here for almost 40 years. So they should have been replaced over time.
“Experts recommend the escalators and lifts be replaced. We started the process of replacing and it took it us a lot of time because, it is government due process and funding. Now, there is a contract out to replace all the lifts, escalators in Abuja airport. It is a legacy problem.”
On the demolition, Yadudu said upon noticing that people were encroaching on airport land in 2006, FAAN set up various committees to engage stakeholders and meet with residents of the communities on the dangers of staying in the area.
He added that announcements were made in the media warning people of the risk of purchasing land and building on restricted aviation land.