Nigeria’s Main Airport Shuts Down

Nigerians and travelers to and from the country are getting ready for major problems as the country’s main airport shuts down Tuesday.

Authorities expect Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to be closed for at least six weeks to fix a runway pockmarked with cracks and holes.

Officials say the work cannot be done unless the entire facility is closed.

Travelers flying into or out of the country will have to use the much smaller domestic airport in Kaduna – a three-hour drive from the capital along a highway infamous for bandits and kidnappers.

The government has promised to station police and soldiers along the road, but several international airlines have already said they will not fly into Kaduna.

It is not just travelers who are facing a major inconvenience. Hundreds of airport workers, such as baggage handlers and cab drivers, and small businesspeople who sell food and other services to passengers are facing more than a month without any income.

Travelers in Nigeria have long complained about the poor services, endless lines and shabby conditions at the Abuja airport.

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