By LOUIS IBA
Passenger and cargo traffic in Nigeria’s airports peaked by as much as 30 per cent, following rehabilitation work and reform in the sector, which has seen a steady rise in the number of persons travelling and moving goods by air.
Recent data made available to Daily Sun showed the increase in the patronage of the airports also resulted in revenue growth for airlines.
Specifically, the data showed that an average of 122.700 tonnes of cargo had been transported by air per annum since the aviation sector reforms started, while passenger traffic at all airports grew to 14.9 million in 2012.
Yakubu Dati, spokesperson for the avaition sector parastatals described the growth as an indication the industry was steadily coming out of its recession to a path of prosperity. “The transformation agenda has changed and started to move the industry on the path of recovery,” said Dati.
“There have been significant increases in passenger, aircraft and cargo movements and total revenue generated from air ticket sales in the country increased from N225 billion in 2011 to N232.5 billion in 2013 while the total number of people employed in the country’s aviation sector increased from 60,000 in 2011 to 85,000 in 2012,” he added.
Under the transformation agenda of the Jonathan administration, the airports have witnessed infrastructural transformation in the last one year, courtesy of the Airport Remodelling Project (ARP), designed to transform all airport terminals in the country into ultramodern facilities that meet international standards and best practice.
Prior to that period, the aviation landscape was dotted with abandoned and decaying infrastructure that dented the country’s public image in no small way.