Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, are poised to inaugurate the new electronic arrival wing at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) on Friday.
According to premiumtimesng.com, The new wing, equipped with 32 counters and workstations, among other facilities, was provided by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).
The Comptroller of Immigration Service (NIS) at the airport, Adeola Adesokan, said the multimillion-naira facility will “greatly ease the stress hitherto caused by long queues at the airport.”
Mrs Adesokan said apart from the governor and the minister, also expected at the event are the Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Wuraola Adepoju, and the leadership of FAAN and NNPC Limited.
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Mrs Adesokan narrated how the intervention by the oil companies was achieved. She said her office had reached out to individuals and corporate organisations for support in addressing some of the challenges facing the airport, especially delays caused by long queues for passengers’ verification and capturing.
Mrs Adesokan said; “Overwhelmed by the huge number of passengers and fewer counters available to our officers to screen them, we reached out to individuals and organisations for support because we believed that the government alone cannot fix everything.
“To God be the glory, NNPCL/SNEPCO came forward and volunteered to offer us something. We only requested a few counters for our men to work because we had only 10 counters but we were shocked when the company volunteered to provide us with a whole wing of 32 counters and workstations. This is massive and wonderful.”
Mrs Adesokan said the experience will be top-notch for passengers at the airport, noting that new facilities will complement the e-gate being planned by the interior ministry.
The comptroller said one of the new features of the new facility that will be unique when inaugurated will be the dedicated counters for elderly passengers and those with limited mobility. She said many of such passengers have had to experience prolonged waiting at the airport, leading to unsavoury tales.
“One of the features that has never been captured in all our airports is having dedicated counters for senior citizens and people with reduced mobility. So, with the new facility, they will be allocated separate counters. We used to have between seven and 10 counters attending to well over 300 or 350 passengers that disembark from a plane at once,” she said.
During a recent inspection of the facilities ahead of the inauguration, the Airport Manager and South-west Regional General Manager for the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Sunday Ayodele, said he was overwhelmed by the donation and thanked the company for the intervention.
Mr Ayodele pledged that the facility will be put to judicious use, noting that he is building a strong culture of maintenance and management of public facilities under his watch across the region.
He said the facility will significantly bring about a positive experience for the passengers, staff, and management of the airport.
The Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPCL, Olufemi Soneye, during the inspection, expressed the commitment of the oil giant to the progress of the country.
Mr Soneye was joined by other officials including the Head of Social Performance and Social Investment of SNEPCO, Abu Elohor, and the Deputy Manager of NNPCL Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS), Bunmi Lawson.