The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said that the remodelled Markurdi Airport in Benue State will be completed soon.
The airport, expected to be the biggest perishable cargo terminal in the country, has been undergoing some modification and now at its completion stage.
A statement by FAAN quoted the Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr. Samuel Ortom, as saying this during an inspection tour of the airport on Monday.
He announced that the ongoing construction of perishable terminals across the country would be facilitated as soon as funds were released from the 2014 budget.
The statement, signed by the Coordinating General Manager, Aviation Parastatals, Mr. Yakubu Dati, quoted Ortom as saying that the projects, under the airport master plan, initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan for the aviation industry, were still on course and would be implemented according to schedule.
Ortom, who was joined at the airport by Air Vice Marshal U. A. Omeiza, discussed issues of mutual interests in view of the status of Makurdi airport as a military airport.
According to the statement, the supervising minister was accompanied on the tour by the Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, who explained that work on the remodelling of the Makurdi airport terminal had reached 90 per cent completion.
The recent designation of some airports as cargo airports by the Federal Government has led to significant rise in cargo movement across the country.
FAAN had noted that in the third quarter of 2013, for instance, a total of 52.5 million kilogrammes of cargo was carried through the airport.
This represents an increase of 20 per cent compared to as 43.5 million kg carried in the third quarter of 2012.
It added that the concept of designating some of these airports as cargo airports was borne out of the need by the Federal Government to facilitate the exportation of agricultural produce and other perishable goods considering the insecurity on the roads.
FAAN said, “There has also been an increase mail movement across the country, which was borne out of increased reliance of courier companies on air transport as a safer and faster means of transportation.
“Figures showed that a total of 1.71 billion kg of mails were carried in the third quarter of 2013 as against 1.13 million kg in the similar period of 2012.”