The Senate has said some airports being constructed by State governments across the country are ‘white elephant’ projects.
Senator Smart Adeyemi, the Senate Committee Chairman on Aviation, said this on Friday, November 26, 2021, when he presented his Committee’s 2022.report to the Senate Committee on Appropriations in Abuja.
He said some of the state airports were unnecessary, adding, there would have been better if there were airstrips.
He said: “Functional Airstrips are better operational in most of the States than Airports of N20 billion being established.
He disclosed that some airstrips built about 40 to 50 years ago, have been proposed for rehabilitation in the 2022 fiscal year.
The eight Airstrips according to him are, Bida and Kotangora in Niger State , Mubi in Adamawa State, Zairia in Kaduna State, Uli – Okija in Anambra State, Ajaokuta in Kogi State, Irua in Edo State, and Zuru in Kebbi State.
The only viable airports, he said, are Lagos, which has 65% of passengers traffic, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, other State Airports lack the required 500,000 to 1million passenger traffic on yearly basis.
“Infact, many of them cannot even record 100,000 passengers annually, not to mention a minimum of 500,000 by international standard.
“Governors should stop embarking on the white elephant projects called State Airport with attendant waste of resources that should be channeled into the welfare and livelihood of citizens.
“N20 billion being spent by some State governors on construction of Airports would have been better channeled into welfare – driven projects and programmes for people of the State .
“It takes N1 to N2 billion to contract a functional Airstrip where small Aircrafts like 50 – seaters can land.”