On Monday, March 30, 2015, The Punch Newspapers published this letter to the editor, titled
Messy Abuja airport park
and it went thus:
Permit me some space in your newspaper to express my views on the messy state of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja parking lot. The place is an eyesore and a dent on the image and perception of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
If you have been there, you would wonder why the parking lot is as disorganized as it is. Apart from it not being tarred, vehicles park at random maybe because of lack of space or for lack of organisation. The parking lots of many international airports around the world are usually representative of the face and identity of the country that visitors travel to. Take the example of a nearby country like Ghana's airport - the place is well tarred and very neat.
Therefore, why the Nigerian authorities are busy concentrating on erecting massive structures at the airports and neglecting the roads and the parking lot of the Abuja airport beats my imagination.
We call on those with the statutory responsibility to improve on these physical infrastructures around our airports to move fast. The first thing any foreigner sees when they enter our country is the physical terrain. If we cannot tar and maintain an ordinary parking lot in our nation's capital, how do we think we can be trusted to take care of our physical infrastructure nationwide?
Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku,
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice,
Benin City, Edo State,
UPDATE ON THIS STORY
12th November, 2015:
On returning from a meeting organized by Action Aid in collaboration with the FEPAR and Oxfam, on Zero-based budgeting in Abuja from November 10-11, 2015, ANEEJ is pleased to note that 9 months after our letter to the editor, extensive work is currently ongoing to improve, revamp the Abuja Airport Park. In a speech recently concerning the ‘negative’ reports concerning the Abuja Airport, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Aviation Hajia Binta Bello said that Nigeria should be commended for the remodeling, renovation and provision of amenities going on at the airports which are all aimed at creating better flying experience for all concerned, saying categorically that "Nigerian airports are not among the worst in the world ".
|The Abuja Airport Parking lot cordoned off by the Chinese contractor handling the renovation.|
We thank our friends The Punch Newspaper Nigeria for helping to bring these issues of our development as a nation to the front burner of national discourse. Thanks Joel.