by Chukwuemeke Iwelunmo
The President of Association of Foreign Airlines Representatives in Nigeria (AFRAN), Kingsley Nwokoma, has called on the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to commence the expansion of the cargo apron of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos, to allow the landing of bigger aircraft.
Nwokoma, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, at the weekend, frowned at the abandonment of the cargo apron by the contractor, who was yet to be prosecuted. ?We should have a government that will make people work, you can?t just collect money and disappear, especially, for a facility that will benefit the whole country. It?s something that government must look into?.
He explained that it was becoming worrisome and difficult for wide-bodied planes to come to the airport, as a result of the inability of the government to construct a bigger apron for the airport. He urged the government to address the situation to avoid embarrassment from the international community, adding that all eyes were focused on Nigeria.
?We have an airline that brings in goods and is made to park at the international wing. The apron is so small and we have had issues and incidents involving planes. The cargo apron is an eyesore, that apron has been there since the airport was built, we have been crying, calling for this expansion, because safety is key here?.
On the need for sanity at the NAHCO shed, he called for the introduction of access control of people into the cargo area, especially, with the security challenges in the country. The AFRAN president stressed the need for the installation of close circuit television at the airport to monitor activities in the area.
?If we are going to achieve anything positive, manpower and equipment have to be at the peak. The airport must be illuminated?. He decried the inability of the government to bring down the price of aviation fuel, despite the fall in oil prices in the world market.