The increasing integration of the transport sector with the growing economy is underscored by the need to move huge amounts of natural resources and merchandise to support mining, agriculture, energy and manufacturing.
Efforts to bridge such infrastructure gaps, particularly in road and railway systems, has led successive governments to allocate funds to transport projects.
Despite the governance challenges and budgetary constraints, several large-scale projects have boosted Nigeria’s capacity to move goods and people between inland communities and growing coastal cities.
Organized public transport services exist in the form of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), the LAGBUS and the corporate Taxi scheme which were introduced a decade ago as part of government efforts to make Lagos a global and competitive megacity.
Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line – The Journey So Far
A project to restore Nigeria’s railways has been underway since 2009.
Lagos-Ibadan railway was built by Chinese which the construction started in 2007, and it is built to link Nigeria’s southwestern cities of Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan. It was officially commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2021.
The history of Nigerian aviation will be incomplete without the mention of Maiduguri and Kano city, where the first aircraft landed in Nigeria on November 1, 1925.
Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport is the oldest in Nigeria, with operations starting in 1936.
The year 1960 was a very significant year in aviation development in Nigeria.
It was not just about the Independence but also marked the final process of the complete takeover of the airline after holding 51 per cent stake in the carrier.
In fact, in 1960, the airline had 17 aircraft in its fleet comprising one Dove, eight Herons and eight DCs.
Precisely in 1961, the Nigeria Airways, formerly known as West African Airways Corporation (WAAC), became the national carrier of Nigeria, operating different brands of aircraft like Airbus, Boeing 737 and Douglas, among others.
Apart from having a strong presence in West Africa, WAAC Nigeria, which became Nigeria Airways in 1971, had footprints in Europe and America.
March 1979, General Obasanjo opened Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
In its heydays, Nigeria Airways was not only a pride of the country but the entire West Africa with as many as 30 operating aircraft.
But, from the 1980s to 90s, the fortunes of the airline nosedived until 2003 when it was liquidated.
But from 1960 till date – up till the time of liquidation of the Nigeria Airways – many airlines were established but couldn’t survive beyond 10 years.
Among the defunct airlines were Flash Airline, Gas Airline, Hold Trade Airline, Jambo Express, Chanchangi, Albarka Airline, Mid-West Airlines, Hak Air, Intercontinental Airline, EAS Airline, Virgin Nigeria and ADC Airline.
Today, Nigeria Has 20 Airports And Many Regulated Airstrips And Heliports; 23 Active Domestic Airlines; 554 Licensed Pilots; 913 Licensed Engineers And 1700 Cabin Personnel. Nigeria Being Africa’s Most Populous Country Is An Important Destination For Over 22 Foreign Carriers.
The current Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development of Nigeria is Festus Keyamo. He was appointed on 21 August 2023 by President Bola Tinubu.
Nigeria has indeed come a long way in the transportation sector, trying to key in through innovations. But a lot still needs to be done for it to measure up with her counterparts abroad. Till then, we’ll continue to bring you updates as it happens.
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