Work Set To Commence On Abuja Airport’s Second Runway

The estimated cost of the project is US$119.5 million.

By Sneha A on
15th September 2023

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation & Aerospace Development Festus Keyamo has said that work should get under way this month on the construction of the second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, also known as Abuja International airport, in Nigeria’s capital city.

The minister made an inspection tour of the airport on 5 September.

“I asked CCECC [China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, which is] doing the project, and they are giving me a date of sometime next week for them to clear the site [of settlers] and move to site. So we are going to invite [the] president to come and commission it. It is a project Nigerians have been waiting for forever,” Keyamo said in an interview aired by TVC News.

The runway project has stalled since it was approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2022. Work was planned to be completed in 12 months, according to the then aviation minister, Hadi Sirika. However, a dispute with the Jiwa community, on whose land the runway will be built, held up the start of construction.

At a stakeholder meeting on 29 August, the Federal Ministry of Aviation & Aerospace Development and the Federal Capital Development Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with community members regarding payment of N825.9 million (US$1.1 million) in compensation for the acquisition of 1,000 hectares of land. 

“The second runway ought to have been commissioned by now, sometime in June or July 2023, but we haven’t mobilised yet to the site because of unresolved issues of compensation,” Keyamo said at the stakeholder meeting.

The minister expressed optimism about the quick completion of the project following the resolution reached by the parties.

In March 2022, the Federal Executive Council approved the construction of the second runway at Abuja airport for an estimated N92.1 billion (US$119.5 million).

The state Voice of Nigeria (VON) news agency reported that the project had been divided into five lots.

It quoted Sirika as saying: “For Lot A, we have the construction of the runway, taxiways, links, fencing of the operation area of that particular runway, internal perimeter, crash roads, service roads, services and drainage. This [has been] awarded to [CCECC] at a sum of N72.3 billion [US$93.9 million].”

Lot B involved the construction of a water pumping station with a reservoir, water supply reticulation and fire-fighting hydrants, and was awarded to the local Trimark Engineering Services for a sum of N1.8 billion (US$2.3 million).

Lot C covered the procurement and installation of airfield lighting, navigational aids, communication and meteorological equipment, procurement, installation and training and the value of the contract was N10.5 billion (US$13.6 million).

The Lot D contract was worth N6.8 billion (US$48.8 million) and covered the provision of power supply, including the construction of power plants.

The N712.6 million (US$924,854) Lot E contract covered the procurement, commissioning and training of staff.

During a site visit to the airport in November 2022, Sirika said, “When completed, this runway will be the longest, maybe in West Africa – being 4.2 kilometres against the existing runway which is [3.6] km... The second phase of this project will have a terminal building." 

Abuja airport is located 40km from Abuja city centre. It has a domestic terminal built in 2012 and an international terminal built in 2018 that has the capacity to handle 15 million passengers a year. Its existing runway was renewed in 2017 by Julius Berger Nigeria.

Photo: Airport inspection tour (Source: Twitter/X @ FAAN_Official)

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