Governor Mbah Commits To Partnership With FAAN On Enugu Airport Cargo Terminal
The Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Peter Mbah has said that he is committed to partner with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to build a cargo terminal in the Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu to boost air cargo business.
He said this when he received members of the Aviacargo Airport Development Committee in his office in Enugu today .
FAAN, he said has been discussing with him on the issue and very soon, the terminal will be in place. The governor said the cargo terminal will further ensure that the airport becomes the cargo hub in the Eastern part of the country since it has already been designated as an international airport by the Federal Government.
On his part, the FAAN Airport Manager, AIIA, Enugu, Mr. Umunna Hillary said that the construction of the International Export Cargo Terminal will commence very soon. The construction of the much needed cargo terminal, the Airport Manager explained is not only to boost cargo business at the airport but also to make the airport a cargo hub in the South East of the country.
The Airport Manager had also received the Aviacargo Airport Development Committee in his office in Enugu. He hinted that there is a challenge in the storage and packaging of perishable goods. Umunna added that the structures for export in Enugu Airport were not there but that even when they are there, there are no facilities therein. He further said the area the airport needs assistance from the state government is the provision of structures and facilities.
Speaking further, the AM said that FAAN had met with the Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Peter Mbah on some of the challenges. On the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company’s (NAHCo’s) warehouse at the airport, he said the facility is not big enough for air cargo operations, adding that there are organizations that are ready to provide world class cargo facilities at the airport.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the Committee, Mr Ikechi Uko briefed the Airport Manager on the essence of the committee’s visit. He said that the body came on a fact finding mission to interact with him, identify the air cargo potentials, challenges and proffer solutions in the committee recommendations.
The Coordinator said that the fact that Nigeria is not doing well in air cargo operations is no longer news but that what is news is how to ensure that Nigeria is well placed on the continent’s air cargo map.
According to him, “Everybody knows that Nigeria is not doing well in air cargo business. Our position in air cargo in Africa is very low and the solutions to ensure that Nigeria’s air cargo is booming necessitated not only the setting up of the committee but also led to the visit of Enugu and other airports.”
He lamented that both domestic and export are not doing well and that the situation calls for serious concerns by stakeholders which the Enugu Airport is part of.
Uko noted that four years ago, it was the issue of warehouse but that today, the issues are increasing and that the committee is in Enugu Airport to know the facilities it has and the ones that should be added to the existing ones.
“We are looking for workable solutions. Increase in air cargo export means increase in the revenue profile of the country. We are here to see what we can do with you to make Enugu Airport a cargo hub in the South East since it is already connected as an international Airport,” he said.
Uko told the AM that the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service is a very important agency needed for air cargo export, saying that it is an error.
In his words,” We cannot do cargo export without the presence of Quarantine at the airport.”
He appealed to the AM to ensure that an office is provided for the agency to enhance the export of goods