FCT to Relocate Aboriginal Settlers for Abuja Aerotropolis
* FAAN recorded 18m air travellers in 2019
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammed Bello, has said the FCT Administration is working towards the eventual relocation of the aboriginal settlers around the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, in order to make way for the Aerotropolis project, which the federal government is planning under the Nigerian Aviation Sector Roadmap.
Bello gave this assurance yesterday when a delegation from the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika, visited him to discuss the roadmap.
He also disclosed that provisions had been made for the payment of compensation and resettlement of the inhabitants of these villages, just as Sirika put the overall number of air passengers that made use of the country’s airports in 2019 at 18 million from 12 million in 2015.
According to Bello, the FCT was already anticipating a massive influx of people as projected by the United Nations Habitat that about 70 percent of the world’s population would migrate to the urban centres by 2050.
He stressed that efforts were also being made to link the Abuja airport rail station to the main terminal, adding that the first set of coaches meant to be used for this purpose had already been shipped out.
According to him, “What we have presently are coaches that were meant for the trial phase. But the real coaches in the beautiful Nigerian colour of green and white will be here shortly, and ultimately before the end of the year, we will have about 12 sets meant to run the entire route from the city up to the airport and with the spur to Bwari and Idu.
“Also, by the time about two sets of coaches arrive, we intend to run an ‘Airport Express’ which will take you from the Abuja Metro Station at the Central Business District to the airport in 18 minutes.”
The FCT minister said the FCT would benefit from the roadmap by the aviation ministry more than any other community in the country.
“It is a great news because of the multiplier effects in terms of employment generation, economic activities and of course the provision of the needed IGR for us either directly or indirectly,” he said.
Sirika appealed for the support and cooperation of the FCT Administration, especially in the provision of suitable land for the project.
He said the Nigerian Aviation Sector Roadmap has been approved by the president and the Federal Executive Council (FEC), adding that the project entails the national carrier, the maintenance, repair and overhaul for airplanes to serve the national carrier.
He added that the cargo businesses would take advantage of the economic activity in the country.