Revenue < Expenditure: Nigerian Airports By The Numbers

My ‘secret sauce’ recently sent me some interesting numbers regarding Nigeria’s airports. The information is too good not to share so I am doing just that.

I wont say too much about them and just let you get on with playing with the numbers but a couple of points to note.

1. These are the official numbers i.e. what has been declared to/by FAAN. As I have been made to understand, the passenger numbers come from the airlines who have every incentive to under-report their numbers given that the number of passengers determines their tax liabilities. So if you see some strange looking numbers, well….

2. I got the passenger numbers and revenue numbers seperately and then combined them. It’s quite possible that they were prepared by two different sets of people or departments inside FAAN. This might explain some interesting discrepancies in the numbers. As an example, when you look at Osubi Airport in 2009, you see it reported zero revenues but at the same time it also recorded 417,041 passengers. These passengers passed through the airport for free?

3. The 2011 numbers relate are for January to July 2011. These are the latest figures available. Please bear this in mind if you are doing any comparison of the figures. There are also no passenger numbers available yet. Again looking at the 2011 numbers, you can see that Bauchi declared zero revenues from January to July. But if you recall this story from March involving Fola Adeola’s plane landing in Bauchi for a Presidential campaign rally, one wonders if it’s free to land at Bauchi ‘Airport’.

4. As you will see, some of the revenues are presumably obtained in US Dollars and declared seperately. There were also, naturally, some expenses incured in US Dollars as follows

2009 – A total of $3,211,021 in expenses were recorded made up of $651,709 ‘Training Course Fees’, $832,014 ‘Estacode’ and $1,727,298 ‘Other Operational Expenses’

2010 – A total of $4,827,988 in expenses were recorded made up of $720,810 Training Course Fees, $1,108,178 Estacode and $2,999,000 Other Operational Expenses

2011 – As at July this year, $2,621,694 has been recorded in expenses made up of $1,608,685 Training Course Fees, $817,542 Estacode and $195,467 Other Operational Expenses.

Note that all the US Dollar expenses are seperate and in addition to the Naira expenses shown in the spreadsheet. All the US Dollar expenses are charged to the ‘Head Office’. 


All told, these numbers are sad – essentially the story of Nigeria. In 2010, all of our airports combined recorded just under 14m passengers. This is only slightly more than what Manchester Airport alone in the UK does in a year (no point discussing Heathrow).

We have clearly used airports to compensate for our bad roads. What is the justification for Katsina airport for example which brought in N2m in revenues in the same period it paid out N56m in salaries? Essentially two airports, Lagos and Abuja, are subsidising all the other airports in the country.

But even as bad as things are, turning the airports around is not the hardest job in the world if there’s a will to do so. Port Harcourt Airport for instance can clearly be made profitable under determined management in a short period of time. 

So when you hear that Nigeria is spending 75% of her budget on recurrent expenditure, here’s an example of the little drops that have made that ocean.

Have a go at the numbers by clicking on the ‘spreadsheet’ link below and if you find anything interesting, leave a comment if you please.





419 Reasons to Like Nigeria

419 Reasons to Like Nigeria



 For too long, Nigeria and Nigerians have been readily associated with the online scams, financial crime and impersonation – termed ‘419’. However, beyond the unfortunate stereotyping, there are several positive characteristics and cogent intriguing traits of the country, Nigeria and its people, some of which are highlighted below as part of the ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ campaign which enlisted 100 volunteers and bloggers to share reasons why they like Nigeria. These reasons echo the voices of Nigerians, with resonating similar themes. The campaign is being facilitated in partnership with ‘The 419Positive Project’.

The full list of ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ is available here  ( 

The list of contributors to ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ is available here 

If you would like to say something positive about Nigerians and Nigeria, please do so here. 




The ‘419 Reasons to Like Nigeria’ Campaign is in partnership with ‘The 419Positive Project’.