Abuja airport’s new international terminal takes off
For decades, air traffic passengers have had unpleasant experiences at Nigeria’s international airports. Even passengers travelling through Nigeria’s capital city airport, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, were not spared the agony. Passengers’ uncomplimentary tales from time to time dot the social and conventional media and rents the air at discussions. From humid terminal experiences as a result of failing air conditioners to bad toilet facilities, chocked terminals and even lack of robust shopping/duty free facilities - experiences that should not be associated with a capital city. Capital city airports are unique selling points of countries, especially to foreign visitors.
Though the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the terminal owners, has over the years tried to improve customer
A25-year-old native doctor, Abudulahi Mudi, arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT) from his hideout in Lokoja, Kogi State, has confessed that he makes more money from snatching cars than what he makes from treating broken bones.
Also arrested was Christopher Ilia, a security guard attached to one of the headquarters of a ministry in Abuja.
Both suspects are members of a four-man armed robbery gang that specialises in stealing exotic cars in Lagos and Abuja.
Mudi claimed he learnt the art of treating broken bones and treating pregnant women from his late father, but that he switched to snatching cars and had participated in the snatching of over 30 exotic cars and that about 20 were stolen from their owners in Lagos.
Mudi said most of the cars stolen in Lagos were snatched in Ikeja, Lekki and Surulere areas of the metropolis.
Both suspects are presently in detention in the IRT cell in Abuja.
Mudi told the team of interrogators led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba experience at the international terminal of the Abuja airport, but the palliatives have not been far-reaching enough. Modest gains have been recorded in improving the ambiance around the terminals, crowd control and renovation of toilet facilities but those experiences are a far cry from what an international airport facility with huge passenger traffic like Nigeria should offer.
However, this narrative has changed with the inauguration of the new international terminal at the Abuja airport with state-of-the-art facilities by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
This milestone began in 2013 when the then President Goodluck Jonathan reached an agreement with the Chinese Government over a $500m loan facility to build four international airport terminals in Nigeria: Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
Abuja and Port Harcourt have been completed and commissioned. The government also paid $100m Kyari, that, “I am a native doctor and I treat people of stroke, broken bones and other illnesses. My father who is now late thought me the art and I have been doing it for a long time in Lokoja, Kogi State. In 2012, one of my friends based in Lagos invited me, and when we met, he introduced me to car snatching. He said the business would fetch me more money than treating people. I accepted then because I was a native doctor and I knew I could prepare charms that would prevent us from being arrested.
“My friend then taught me how to drive after which we started in counterpart funding. One of the conditions for the concessionary loan was that the $500m loan would be paid directly to China EXIM Bank to the Chinese contractor, CCECC, to eliminate unnecessary payment delays in the contract execution and as a guarantee the contract would not be breached irrespective of the government in power. The airports were originally billed to be completed in 2016, but that did not happen due to challenges associated with delayed release of counterpart funding.
During the facility tour recently, our correspondent also gathered that the facility has in excess of 400 CCTV cameras covering every inch of the approximately 56,000m2 facility; a concourse area and a 22-room hotel facility.
The Managing Director/CEO of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma, told our correspondent that the new terminal building brought new frontiers and possibilities for Nigeria’s aviation removing people’s cars from parks. My friend had a master key we were using, and at night we will go to any crowded bar and night clubs where cars are parked by the road side. My friend would open two cars of his choice and we will both drive them out and take them to our buyer who is based in Lokoja.
“We stole cars mainly around Surelere and Ikeja because traffic around those areas was too busy compared to other areas. We stole about 16 cars in Lagos before I was arrested when police trailed one of the cars to the receiver in Lokoja. The police then used the receiver sector.
He said the Abuja airport was doing about 7.5 million passengers annually; both domestic and international, but that now the new terminal could process 15 million passengers annually.
He also said foreign airlines were ready to move into the facility as soon as they were able to do so.
Our correspondent also gathered that Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines and British Airways might be the first set of foreign airlines to use the facility.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, told the audience during the commissioning ceremony that from political and economic perspectives, the Abuja airport “is very strategic to Nigeria not only because it is the gateway to the nation’s capital, but also because it is the second busiest airport in the country and the fastest growing in passenger traffic in West and Central Africa, with an average growth rate of eight percent, where the world’s average growth is 5.8 per cent.” to trick me and I was arrested. The receiver called and told me that he was in Lagos and he wanted to come and collect someone and I rushed to where he told me and I was arrested.
“After I was arrested, the police asked me to call my friend, and when I did, he sensed danger and escaped. I was later charged to court and remanded in prison, but while in prison, I got news that my friend had been killed while he attempted to steal someone’s car in Lagos. I spent four years in prison because I couldn’t fulfill my bail conditions. I came out in 2016 and relocated to Abuja and started treating people again.
“Early this year, Ilia came to me for treatment. He told me he had gonorrhea and I started treating him. In the process, we became friends and he told me that he lost his job as a security guard and that he wanted me to assist him. At that time, I had one of my car receivers calling me that he needed cheap cars. I told Ilia that we could make money if we could get them for him. Illa then suggested that we should get military uniform; which we did. We started stopping cars at bus stops at night. We will flag down any neat looking taxi and when we enter it will show the driver our toy gun and force him to stop the vehicle. We will collect all his money and zoom off with his
He said, “The airport processed 5,709,012 passengers in 2017. This volume equals to about 13 times the total number of passengers recorded by Ghana as a country.”
The terminal building, he said, was covering a space of approximately 56,000m2.
He said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved the second tranche for the funding of the phase two of the terminal in the sum of $461,795,551.02. The phase takes into cognisance additional facilities that will enhance airport efficiency, he said.
Sen. Sirika also said the phase two included completion of Kano and Lagos terminals.
He said, “The contractor has gone ahead to implement it as approved, but recently slowed down the pace of work due to non-payment of $69.3m counterpart funding by government.”
He thus requested the president to pay the funds to enable him complete all the facilities. vehicle. Then I will call our receiver who is at Ejule community in Ofa Local Government of Kogi State. We will hand over the vehicle to him. He pays us between N120,000 and N150,000 for each vehicle. The charm I prepared for protection was highly effective and it prevented the police from arresting us, but Illia was the person who got me into trouble again. I don’t know where he went to rob. He did not disclose the amount he stole, but he brought just the man’s car to me and asked me to prepare charms that will prevent the man from looking for him. He didn’t even give proper details about the operation. I accepted and kept the key in my shrine and before I knew what was happening he brought the police to my house and they arrested me.”
On his part, 30-year-old Christopher Ilia, who is a native of Lokoja, alleged that his inability to secure a job led him into crime.
“I became so desperate after I lost my job. I started robbing people of their phones. I went out very early in morning. I attacked people in broken down vehicles or those who are working alone. I threaten them with my gun,” he said.
Force Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, who confirmed the incident, said the gang specialised in snatching cars using toy guns in the FCT and Lagos.
New international terminal at Abuja airport
Mudi and Ilia both membees of a car snatching gang, arrested by IRT
New Abuja airport terminal check-in counters