President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned the new Terminal at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Rivers state.
While commissioning the terminal, President Buhari said: “This will make air travel more affordable and subsequently lead to the creation of jobs by the air transport service value chain as well as increase revenues for government.
President Buhari said the ceremony represents a significant landmark for international air travellers, particularly from the South-South region, and the entire country.
According to him, after opening the major airport terminals in the country in the late 70s and early 80s, not much was added to increase the passenger handling capacity of the facilities by successive administrations.
He said following the large increase in national population with consequent surge in air passenger traffic, the capacity of the airport terminals became woefully inadequate to cater for the increase in passenger traffic.
“As part of the infrastructure renewal program, the construction of four new international terminals at Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano airports was embarked upon by the Federal Government with a view to modernising the aging airport infrastructure to meet global aviation standards and improved service delivery in tandem with best international practices,” he said
“Nigeria having an advantageous central location within the sub-region and our desire to develop into a regional air transportation hub, must upgrade its facilities to take advantage of its assets. The recent decision by the Federal Government to remove Value Added Tax from domestic air transportation is in line with global best practices.
“Today’s commissioning is an example of Government’s deliberate policy to sustain the development of infrastructure for economic growth in all geo-political zones of the country,” he added.
In his speech, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike called on prominent indigenes of the state to stop de-marketing the state to encourage free flow on investment.