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Mrs Kuku: FAAN Charts Course for Modernization and Growth in Nigeria’s Aviation Sector

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Mrs Olubunmni Kuku, Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN.


…..eyes Cargo Boom, Focuses on Secondary Airports for Exports

The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku, says, with responsibility for 22 airports across the country, FAAN plays a crucial role in providing essential services outlined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

She underscored the intricate challenges inherent in overseeing aviation infrastructure in Nigeria while reflecting on her 100 days office, citing both excitement and the daunting task of serving the nation. 

Acknowledging the challenges within the aviation sector, she emphasized the multifaceted nature of FAAN’s responsibilities, spanning infrastructure provision on the land, terminal, and air sides of airports.

Addressing misconceptions about FAAN’s role, Mrs. Kuku clarified that while the authority provides infrastructure, it collaborates with private sector entities like ground handling companies to ensure seamless operations. 

She stressed the importance of various agencies working together to facilitate passenger movement while maintaining security standards.

You also see other agencies when you’re coming in and checking in, once you go through check -in, you go through the access gates, you will have to encounter agencies like the immigration services, customs, NDLEA, EFCC, quarantine services, quite a number of organizations who are working with us to make it all come together”. 

Discussing challenges faced by FAAN, Mrs. Kuku highlighted issues such as aging infrastructure and the need for improved facilities and sanitation. 

She outlined ongoing efforts to address these challenges through collaborations with private sector organizations and prioritizing infrastructure upgrades.

“We’ve also started working on sanitation the toilets but, you know, that also comes back to us. A lot of times, yes, it is the responsibility of us as FAAN to maintain the facilities, but it’s also that of the individuals who are actually using it to also make sure that they’re sort of keeping and putting things in shape”. 

On the achievements front, Mrs. Kuku pointed to the successful reopening of the international runway, 18R, in Lagos, within the initial months of her tenure crediting the collaborative efforts of stakeholders and swift action taken to ensure operational efficiency.

Looking ahead, Mrs. Kuku outlined initiatives to enhance passenger experience through digitalization and self-check-in counters. 

The FAAN boss emphasized the importance of continuous improvement and the dedication of FAAN’s workforce in maintaining operational excellence across the 22 airports under its purview.

“Honestly, aviation is a 24 -hour operation. We’re running, as I mentioned, 22 airports and managing five others, so there’s really no sleep. Fortunately, I do have quite a number of competent airport managers, but they really do need the push and the support that they haven’t had. We’ve just started a culture accreditation program, we really try and reorient them and make them owners and managers. I’m supported by a group of very competent directors as well. We had some directors come in and I think they came in barely a week after me”. 

In terms of investment initiatives, Mrs. Kuku discussed recent developments in airports across Nigeria, including terminal upgrades and the establishment of agro-export processing zones. 

She highlighted the potential for economic growth and increased cargo traffic, particularly in secondary airports, driven by initiatives to support agricultural exports and cold chain processing facilities.

“It also is very critical for the honorable minister as well as Mr. President. I mean if you look at Enugu, Aba, Jos we have a potential to export crops, leather out of the country. You know we’re also making sure that we have cold chain processing facilities”.

She adds, “We do see cargo as the future airport for exports one of the key initiatives within this administration that we’re going to be driving”.

Mrs. Kuku reiterated FAAN’s commitment to driving growth and efficiency in Nigeria’s aviation sector, with a focus on enhancing infrastructure, passenger experience, and cargo revenue generation.

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