Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned the newly-built international terminal at the Port Harcourt International Airport, a China-assisted project to boost the country's economic prosperity.
Construction of the new 600-million-U.S.-dollar airport terminal in Port Harcourt, the country's oil hub and capital of the southern state of Rivers, is expected to open more convenient air routes as well as contribute immensely to the economic and infrastructure development of Nigeria.
Speaking at the well-attended commissioning of the new terminal, Buhari described the world-class facility as "a significant landmark" for international travelers in the most populous country in Africa.
He also said the construction came at the right time for Nigeria. "The Federal Government responded to a global trend in which aviation became a catalyst for economic growth as a result of massive and speedy movement of persons, goods, and services in a safe and secure manner."
The structure of the two-story terminal building includes the apron, a cargo terminal building, external works, and other ancillary works.
Many local people trooped out to witness the commissioning and behold the beauty of the new terminal and the hi-tech facilities therein.
The international airport terminal project was executed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) which is involved in many ongoing infrastructural projects, including rail and road construction in Nigeria.
The project was done in partnership with the Chinese government, involving a loan of 500 million U.S. dollars from the Export and Import Bank of China and 100-million-dollar counterpart funding from the Nigerian government.
Michael Jiang, a managing director of CCECC in Nigeria, told Xinhua the new airport terminal would help Nigeria achieve the major objective of connecting people through air routes, land, sea routes and promoting economic prosperity across all borders and regions of the world.
Nigeria's Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika said that with the new facility set for use, Nigeria has achieved a milestone in the implementation of its aviation roadmap.
The new airport terminal has the capacity to handle seven million passengers annually, according to Sirika.