China-built airport terminal in Nigeria brings tangible benefits, numerous jobs to locals

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An airport terminal in Nigeria’s capital Abuja is bringing tangible benefits to locals by bridging the infrastructure gap in the country and creating more jobs opportunities.

The terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, was constructed by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC) and funded by a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.

Media practitioner Bolade Kingsworth is one of the frequent flyers at the airport who shared that the new terminal has improved the travel experience.

“This looks like an international airport for real. The other one was like a local airport and it was very choked in, it was small and everyone was scrambling to get through. If we see something good like this and you ask us to pay, we will be like yeah let’s pay because we see what you are doing with the money,” said Kingsworth.

Covering an area of about 56,000 square meters, the terminal can handle 15 million passengers annually.

“The facility on ground and the size of the airport has made it easier for airlines to fly in their numbers to Abuja unlike before when airline has to take turns, airline has to request for landing permit and wait for approval because of inadequate space for them to park,” said Kayode Adesola, vice president of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies.

The terminal has also brought many job opportunities for local residents.

“A lot of people have been gainfully employed in the terminal and what a view. The terminal has been able to secure, for the first time, the ASQ award — Airport Service Quality award,” said Mahmud Sani, manager of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The terminal is one of four new terminals constructed in Nigeria under the China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Industry watchers believe that projects such as this terminal will bring Nigeria closer to bridging its infrastructure gap especially in the transportation sector.