FG rejects Port Harcourt airport rating
The federal government yesterday rejected the survey which rated Port Harcourt International Airport among the worst airports in the world.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Hajia Binta Bello, said the survey conducted by SleepingInAirports.net, a website that reviews the best and worst airports in the world, was not reflective of the reality of Nigerian airports.
Port Harcourt International Airport was on Tuesday ranked the worst airport in Africa and one of the worst in the world by SleepingInAirports.net.
The website annually conducts a survey by asking travellers to rate their airport experiences based on services and facilities available within the terminal, cleanliness, customer service, comfort and their overall airport experience.
According to the website, voters suggested that apart from being the worst airport in the world, Port Harcourt Airport should also win the title of the most corrupt airport in the world.
Speaking with newsmen in Lagos on the sidelines of the 21st annual seminar of League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), the Permanent Secretary said Nigerian airports are not as bad as portrayed in the survey.
She said though there were challenges at some of the international airports owing to construction works that are ongoing, she assured that the challenges would be over as soon as the projects are completed.
According to her, the ongoing new terminals in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt would be completed and commissioned by the first quarter of next year.
On the airport rating, she said, “It is up to readers to agree or to disagree on the rating.When I saw the rating, the question I asked is that do we still have touts at the airports, are our airports dirty, are we corrupt, do we agree with all those questions? It is something that I cannot categorically say, ‘yes we are corrupt, our airports are not clean, our airports are congested, and so on’. I am sure you can actually see if these airports are actually dirty, if they are full of touts and if they are chaotic. This morning I flew in through Abuja airport and about five airlines were boarding at the same time. I did not see any chaos there, it was a smooth operation, passengers were going in their various buses assigned for the airlines and the whole operation was very smooth’’.
“So I cannot accept that the airports are dirty, just as I cannot accept that the airports are congested. If we have a temporary challenge because of the construction of terminals that are going on in Abuja for instance, we all know that there is a lot of work going on there. If we have temporary challenge, it is something that will come to past immediately the terminals’ remodelling is completed,” she added. Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday said traditional rulers will not relent in the war against polio until Nigeria is declared polio-free by the World Health Organization.
Speaking while receiving members of the District 9125 of the Rotary Club International led by the District Governor, Pharmacist Mike Omotosho, he said the fight against the menace was not yet over.
“It is so close to end polio but yet so far and if we go to sleep, it will be a vicious cycle again. We should not relent. We should tighten our belt and keep on doing what we have been doing in the last eight years,” he said.
The Sultan said sickness and poverty have no religion or ethnicity and that as such, all hands should be on deck to end polio in the country.
He disclosed their planned meeting with all stakeholders in the fight to re-strategize on how to completely end the menace.
Earlier, the District Governor expressed determination to ensure that no child is crippled by polio again.
He noted that the country has not recorded any new case of polio in about one year, adding that if it could be sustained for the next two years, it would be declared a polio-free nation.
From left: Vice Chairman Nigeria National Polio Committee, Dr. Kazeem Mustapha, Chairman Nigeria of the committee, Dr. Tunji Funsho and District Rotary 125 Governor, Dr. Mike Omotosho, during a press briefing to mark 2015 World Polio Day in Abuja on Wednesday.