The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed that the state will develop a rail infrastructure to complement the world-class bus terminal which is under construction to shuttle air passengers to and from the airport terminal.
The Governor explained that these are parts of the development activities embarked on by the state government to ensure travelers have a better experience while passing through the airport.
The disclosure was made by the Lagos State Governor on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, when he met the management team of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), led by its Managing Director, Captain Rabiu Yadudu.
The meeting was held ahead of the next Saturday’s reopening of the airspace for international flight operations to solicit for the Governor’s intervention to the seamless operations of the Lagos airport, which contributes about 70% of FAAN’s revenue.
Sanwo-Olu pointed out that the bus terminal would serve as a holding station for international passengers who will not be driving into the airport. He said officials of the State Government have been working round the clock with the Federal Government to initiate safety protocols in place at the airports and drive compliance.
The Governor said, “An airport is a gateway that defines the nation because it is the first facility to be seen by international travelers. The Murtala Mohammed International Airport is an important asset, not only to the Federal Government but also to Lagos State. The strategic use of this airport should necessitate the need for us to fully harness the asset and make it a bubbling destination for tourists and businessmen coming into the country.
“As a State Government, we are taking complementary efforts to ensure the airport promotes business and is safe for travellers. We have started the construction of a massive bus terminal along the airport road, which will be complemented with a rail project. The rail project is part of the Red Line Rail project which will start from Ebute Metta and pass through Oshodi. The right-of-way of this project has been determined and we are hoping the project will start before the end of the year.”
Sanwo-Olu asked the FAAN management to work on the remodelling of the airport’s facilities to become a hub of business and tourism. He said some of the facilities installed in the airport were due for modernization and upgrading.
The Governor particularly made a case for the provision of fast, free internet connectivity within lounges at the airport, noting that the era of passengers sitting for long without internet access had passed.
He said the functionality of the airport must be fully explored, urging the management to invest in facilities that would drive more passenger traffic to the airport.
The FAAN boss used the opportunity to thank the state government for the construction of the airport road from Oshodi as that had strengthened the partnership between the Lagos state and FAAN. He pleaded with the Governor to intervene in ensuring smooth safety compliance and provision of services as the airport prepared to re-open for commercial activities.
Some of the FAAN requests include the provision of BRT buses to commute passengers from the car park to departure and arrival halls, expansion of strategic airport roads, and halting of encroachment on the airport land around Ajao Estate and Shasha, among other.