The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, has recorded over 100 per cent increase in cargo movement, comprising import and export in the third quarter of 2019.
It was gathered that the boom was as a result of the decision of the federal government to shut land borders three months ago, leading to drastic rise in cargo movement at the airport.
Data from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the airport, which is the busiest and responsible for taking the largest chunk of passenger and cargo movement in the country, recorded a total cargo movement of 114.13 million tons between January and September this year.
This comprised 88.31 million import and 25.82 million export.
However, the 2019 figure showed that the increase began in August, with over 100 per cent increase compared to the 2018 figure.
Figures show that while 9.1 million tons of cargo comprising 7.5 million import and 1.6 million export was recorded in August 2018, the cargo movement in August 2019 stood at 16.9 million tons, made up of 11.7 million import and 5.2 million export.
In September this year, a total of 16.8 million tons of cargo movement was recorded, including 11.7 million import and 5.06 million export.
It showed a 100 per cent increase, compared to what was obtainable in 2018; an 8.4 million tons comprising 6.96 million import and 1.52 million export.
While in 2018, a total of 129.09 million tons of cargo movement was recorded, however, the airport has already recorded 114.13 million tons in nine months, with a projection that the figure might surpass the 2018 record by over 90 or 100 per cent, going by the government extending the border closure beyond the year.
According to Daily Trust, Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, confirmed that there has been a tremendous improvement in the cargo movement in recent times.
“If you look at the 2018 figure, you will see that it was a lot of improvement with cargo movement growing by 72.50 per cent compared to the 2017 figure according to our record. But the border closure this year has further improved the amount of import and export facilitated by the MMIA,” she said.