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Nigerian airports lag behind African peers

19 May 2013, 08:16

Lagos - The latest Skytrax Best Airport Ranking, where none of the Nigerian airports are rated, is a true reflection of the bad state of the airports in the country, analysts said.

Out of the 22 airports that were vying for the honours as the top ten airports on the Africa continent, Nigerian facilities did not make the cut.

Aviation expert, Dele Johnson, said the non-rating of Nigerian airports reflects the decaying infrastructure at Nigerian airports, which to a large extent, does not guarantee speedy facilitation of both air passengers and luggage.

"I am not surprised by the non-inclusion of any of our airports in those rankings.

"One needs to go around the airports locally to see how bad they are. The facilities are in a deplorable state. One does not expect any rating agency to put us even among the best 20 airports in Africa,” he said.

An aviation correspondent with a local newspaper, Simon Kolawole, also agreed with the Skytrax ranking that Nigerian airports are in a ‘terrible state.’

Kolawole noted that although some measures were being put in place by government to resuscitate the airports, he said they were still a far cry compared to airports in South Africa, whose airports Skytrax highly rated, and other African countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Ghana.

“Anybody who has travelled through Nigerian airports and then through airports in other African countries will definitely agree that we are far back in terms of facilities.

"Indeed our government is trying to salvage the rut at airports, occasioned by corruption and neglect, but we are still way behind other countries,” Kolawole said.

Yakubu Dati, General Manager, Corporate Communication of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), conceded that some airports were in a bad state but pointed to projects the organisation had embarked on to revive the airports.

“It is instructive that one of these efforts, aside from creating new policies that makes our airports more customers friendly and commercially viable, is the appointment of George Uriesi, who has served as the General Manager of Cape Town International Airport, as the Managing Director of FAAN.

"Uriesi was in charge at Cape Town International Airport, when airports in South African were undergoing transformation in preparation for the hosting of the 2010 World Cup.  It is this same airport that ranked first in the 2013 Skytrax World Best Airports,” he said.

- CAJ News

Tags airports

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