Have you ever been stranded or angry at an Airport in Nigeria? Well, you are not alone. According to a recent survey by Travelstart Nigeria, 92% of Nigerian Airport users are dissatisfied with their Airport Experience.
The research was carried out by asking 500+ frequent business and leisure travelers in Nigeria three questions which were:
- The Nigerian airport they departed from.
- Whether their baggage was opened, checked and rummaged through by officers of the force during baggage check before boarding.
- If they think Nigerian airports provide the best airport experience.
77% of the travelers stated that they usually depart from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, 19% departed from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and 4% departed from Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. The respondents stated that lack of facilities, general conduct of airport officials e.g. Immigration, Customs, etc, careless luggage handling are the top problems of Nigerian airports.
When asked about the airport experience, 92% of the Nigerian respondents said they did not feel that Nigerian airports provide the best airport experience. The travelstart article stated that a good airport experience is paramount to attracting tourists to the country as the airports are usually the first impression visitors get of the country. To make matters worse, Business Day South Africa recently ranked Lagos Airport as the “Worst in Africa” and CNN ranked Port Harcourt Airport as the “Worst in the world” in February 2016.
The respondents suggested improvements such as Free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, better customer service, technology upgrade, use of luggage scanners instead of physical baggage checking and staff training.
In my own experience with both the local and international airports in Nigeria, I can say that the services are really terrible especially when you compare them with airports in other countries of the world. I once experienced a local flight delay for 10 hours and we were given no explanation or apology at all even though it made some of us miss international flights and important meetings.
At the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, the escalators were not working the last time I was there, some TV’s used to display flight information do not work, immigration officials always try to get money from people among so many other things. The Nigerian government has to take this matter very seriously to ensure a better international view of the country.