Saleh Dunoma, Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, said in Abuja that the country’s airports could become viable the moment economic activities were created around them.
Dunoma told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that in furtherance of the Federal Government’s resolve to diversify the economy, FAAN had identified a number of airports in the country where fresh cargo facilities would be set up.
He said: “All airports are viable, it depends on the activities that you create around them.
“If you take just an airport and said you want to assess the viability, most of them might not be viable but if you check the entire contribution to the economy and create activities around them all airports are viable.
“In Nigeria today, we are looking into agriculture and the government has decided that we need to start agricultural export.
“So, fresh cargo would be moved out and there is no way you can move out fresh cargo without an airport.
“FAAN is managing 22 airports and you see, this is a big asset in terms of achieving that objective of government of exporting agricultural products.
“All we need to do is to provide a little bit of additional facility in these selected airports so that we can start this export.
“The agricultural products are there already, all we need to do is to create a small processing facility, a small packaging facility, a small storage facility and we are in business.’’
Dunoma disclosed that work had since begun in some of the designated cargo airports, adding that the government had emphasized that every geo-political zone should have one.
According to him, the committee set up by the Minister of State for Aviation is going to look at the locations of these airports and submit a comprehensive report but a lot of work has been done already.
On the proposed second runway for Abuja airport, FAAN boss said the project was still at consultancy level to ensure that the project was properly designed and executed.
He added that the authority was currently working with the Bureau for Public Procurement to ensure that the project was properly procured.