Newly Renovated Lagos Airport Terminal Facilities Failing — Investigation

Newly Renovated Lagos Airport Terminal Facilities Failing — Investigation

Four months after the newly reconstructed General Aviation Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, was opened by the Federal Government, the baggage conveyor belts at the arrival hall are still not working.

Also, some of the facilities installed in the terminal are already failing.

The GAT, also called MMA Terminal One, was reconstructed for 11 months at a cost of N648m, and was opened with fanfare on October 22, 2012 by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim; and Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah.

When our correspondent visited the facility on Thursday afternoon, he observed that the conveyor belts were not working. Airline officials were seen carrying checked-in baggage to the screening machines.

However, the conveyor belts at the arrival hall were working, but officials said they at times malfunctioned.

It was also observed that one of the sinks inside the arrival hall toilet had already cracked and almost falling off. Moreover, some of the wooden materials used in demarcating the toilets were already breaking.

Airline officials alleged that most materials used in building the terminal were substandard. They claimed that the edifice might not stand the test of time.

On Tuesday, a passenger who arrived from Port Harcourt and passed through the airport posted her experience on, an online news portal.

In a post titled, ‘Upgraded Lagos domestic airport is crumbling,’ the passenger, who simply identified herself as Funken, wrote, “As much as I applaud the GEJ government for ‘upgrading’ airports, the new domestic airport in Lagos is already showing signs of decay. I came in from Port Harcourt this evening and I went into the gents of the arrival lounge to ease myself. Lo and behold, one of the three wash hand sinks is already so badly cracked that it could fall apart any moment from now. And this is from an airport that was just commissioned only a few months ago!

“I now took my time to take a look at the whole arrival lounge as a whole and I found out that these contractors did a completely shoddy job. The paint job is whack. And looking up at the roof, I found so many markings as to wonder if work was actually completed on the roof. Why are we so mediocre in Nigeria? Who certified these jobs because they were obviously done with substandard materials? And to think that billions of naira was actually budgeted and spent on this airport.”

However, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said the damaged sink had been replaced.

He said the contractor had yet to hand over the terminal and as such, the agency was still monitoring the project for any error that might be found.

“The sink has been replaced. The facility has to be watched for another six months before the contractor hands over. Every project has a timeline of six months for us to watch it before it is handed over,” Dati said.

He also said he was not aware the conveyor belts at the departure hall were not working properly, adding that he would check to see if they were working.

But a FAAN official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the conveyor belts at the depature hall were working but that the agency could not use them because the screening machine house had yet to be built.

On why the project was given to a local contractor, he explained, “We are looking at how to grow indigenous companies and this decision comes with its pains. It is our strategy of looking inward to help our own indigenous engineers and architects. For a Nigerian contractor to build that facility for N648m, less than N1bn in 300 days is quite a great feat.

“As Nigerians, we need to be patient with our people. We have gone to check the amenities. This is the first among our projects; others going on in Abuja and other states are better. We are working day and night to detect other defects.”

In November 2012, about a month after the terminal was inaugurated, its effective performance was hampered by faulty cooling and conveyor systems. At the time, the baggage conveyor belts at the departure and arrival halls were not working.


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