“It is bad that two months after the commissioning of Port Harcourt airport, we are yet to use the new terminal. We all knew from the beginning that the terminal was not ready, but the minister forced the contractor to commission it.
“Now, months after the forceful commissioning, no one is able to use the terminal. As at Monday, serious work was still ongoing at the terminal and it may not be ready by March next year.
“That is the challenge we have been facing in this sector,” a source told SaharaReporters.
The commissioning of the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Omegwa, Port Harcourt on October 25, 2018 was with fanfare, but two months after the inauguration, the airport is yet to be opened for use.
Investigation revealed that the airport, which was constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. (CCECC) Nigeria, for $111.1million was yet to be completed by the contractor.
A source close to the Ministry of Transport, Aviation Unit, told SR on Wednesday that the new terminal may not be ready for use until March 2019.
According to the source, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika had “hoodwinked President Muhammadu Buhari to commission the terminal after the crisis that trailed the failed attempt on a new national carrier for the country”.
It was gathered that the contracting firm had told Sirika that the new terminal was not ready for use, but the minister had insisted on commissioning the terminal at the time in order to get commendation from the president.
Investigation by SR revealed that intense work was still ongoing at the new terminal, as several equipment were still being fixed by the contractors.