‘CNN Marketplace Africa’ examines the refurbishment of
Abuja International Airport following its closure for six weeks
On this week’s ‘CNN Marketplace Africa’ CNNMoney’s Editor-at-Large, Richard Quest, examines some of the issues affecting Nigeria’s infrastructure, as Africa’s most populous country looks to bounce back from recession.
The programme reports from Abuja International Airport, which was recently forced to close for six weeks to carry out urgent repairs.
Seen as an example of how Nigeria’s aging infrastructure is struggling to deal with the demands of a growing population, ‘CNN Marketplace Africa’ speaks to individuals about how the country can expand their services following a recession.
Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, outlines why the repairs to Abuja International Airport were so urgently required: “This airport was designed for 100,000 passengers per annum. Today it is doing six million.”
‘Marketplace Africa’ hears how the runway at Abuja was originally designed to last 20 years, but has been in operation for nearly 35. With Nigeria’s population expected to more than double to nearly 400 million by the middle of the century, there is a belief that the nation’s facilities must be urgently addressed.
John Campbell, the former US Ambassador to Nigeria, explains how the issues currently affecting Abuja International Airport are reflective of the country as a whole: “It’s the result of chronic underinvestment. The infrastructure problems are more than runways – the road network for example requires massive new investment. The deferred maintenance and underinvestment in infrastructure is longstanding.”
Although China is investing money into some infrastructure projects in Nigeria, the country remains reliant on oil and gas – with oil prices having triggered a recession that the country is still struggling to recover from.
However, the International Monetary Fund predicts that Nigeria’s economy will grow by over half a percent this year as oil revenues rise.
With Abuja International Airport now reopened, there is hope that there has been a re-evaluation of Nigeria’s infrastructure improvements as its economy looks to recover further.
‘CNN Marketplace Africa’ airs Friday 12 May at 1615 WAT on CNN International
The programme also airs at the following times:
Saturday 13 May at 1615 WAT
Sunday 14 May at 0100 WAT and 0715 WAT
Monday 15 May at 0200 WAT and 1745 WAT