The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos may lose the certification it was granted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) about seven months ago following encroachments on some parts of its land
The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos may lose the certification it was granted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) about seven months ago following encroachments on some parts of its land.
The encroachment on the land, which begins from the Shasha Area of the airport to Mafoluku Area, sources close to the Ministry of Transport, Aviation Unit, confided in our correspondent over the weekend, is already giving FAAN’s management sleepless nights as there are indications that NCAA may withdraw the certification of the airport.
Also, a source close to FAAN confided in our correspondent that the latest encroachment was spearheaded by the now retired General Manager, Civil, and Building Department, FAAN, one Mr. Obi who is an architect.
It was learned that Obi retired in FAAN in 2017, but still has the photocopy of the master plan of the airport land with him as at the time he left service in 2017.
Our correspondent gathered that Obi who also doubles as a surveyor used his office to allocate some parts of FAAN’s land to people, including his family members.
The source pointed out that a car wash and a filling station, Conoil directly opposite the Hajj and Cargo terminal of the airport were parts of buildings done on the allocations done by Obi before he left the service.
It was gathered that the land on which the car wash and ConOil filling station were constructed were allocated to Obi’s younger brother.
It was, however, gathered that the latest encroachment on the airport land from the Shasha area is the biggest threat to the last November’s certification issued MMIA by NCAA, as the regulatory agency had communicated its observation to FAAN.
According to an official memo from NCAA, the regulatory agency had treated this encroachment as an open item, which may cost FAAN the certification of the airport.
The FAAN source said: “Our certification is threatened by the new encroachment on the airport land especially from the Shasha area. Some of the residents have broken into the fence and have commenced building construction on FAAN’s land.
“This is, however, an insider’s job. A former General Manager in FAAN was recently indicted in the encroachment saga. Several lands were wrongly allocated to people without papers. Even, the on-going one at Shasha area was allocated to them by the same person. This is already threatening our certification, which we fought for before we could attain it and NCAA has already informed us of this open item, which may be difficult to close.”
MMIA was last September issued safety certification by NCAA, 38 years after commencement of operations.
NCAA had told FAAN that the perimeter and operational fences within the airport, which prevented further encroachment into its land, were some of the reasons the airport scaled the hurdle.
But, with the latest encroachment, it is not clear if the airport would retain the certification.
Managing Director of FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, at a forum in Lagos recently, had lamented the encroachment on the authority’s land by some unscrupulous people.
He had said FAAN was ready to partner with the state government in a bid to stop encroachment on its land.
He had lamented that the high rate of encroachment into airports land across the country was becoming worrisome.
He also said lands were not laying waste, but were kept as part of the required standard procedure by the authority to avoid cases of aircraft running off the runway due to indiscriminate human activities.