The Federal Government of Nigeria has signed a $500 million Loan Agreement with the Chinese government for the construction of four new International airport terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano.
The Agreement is one of many other Agreements and MoU's signed in Beijing as President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan formally commenced a Two-Day State Visit to China.
The commencement of construction work on the terminals had been on hold pending the formal signing of the loan deal which will be financed by the Chinese EXIM Bank.
Reacting to the development, Coordinating Minister for the Economy/Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the Federal government is very elated that the loan deal for the financing of the construction of the terminals has finally been sealed.
She said airports, being the Gateways to the country are critical not only as drivers of the socio-economic development of Nigeria, but also an outward reflection of the character of any nation.
She added that developing airport and aviation infrastructure was therefore a major pririoty to the federal government, and commended the leadership of President Jonathan for pulling off such a remarkable milestone with the Chinese authorities. She said the simultaneous construction of four international airports will create employment and other value chains that will help to grow and expand the frontiers of the Nigerian economy.
Also reacting, Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah expressed profound joy that the dream of President Jonathan to bequeath befitting international airports for the country will now be realised with the signing of the Agreement today in Beijing, China.
''I am extremely delighted with this development today. Now, real work can start as we had been eagerly waiting for this day. We promised to give the nation international airports befitting the stature and standing of Nigeria as the giant of Africa and today's ceremony is a significant milestone towards the achievement of this objective", Oduah declared.
Joe Obi, SA(Media) to Hon.Minister of Aviation
Beijing, China, July 10, 2013