The Nigerian government has said it aims to construct 10 new airports across the country, an endeavor seeking to boost civil aviation in the most populous African country.
The move is a part of the country's development roadmap for the aviation industry launched in 2015, and currently being implemented, according to an official statement reaching Xinhua on Wednesday.
"So, we have about 10 new airports coming up, that is almost half the number of airports we used to have in Nigeria. We are adding 50 per cent of the number of airports," said the statement by Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister.
Sirika had earlier told a committee by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday while defending the Ministry of Aviation's 2021 budget, that civil aviation had witnessed growth, including an increase in the number of airports, since the time the roadmap was launched five years ago.
With the recent turmoil in the country, Lagos has been the center of the protests, with demonstrators at times blocking access to the airport and barricading roads leading to the countrys main ports.
A curfew also went into effect in Benin City after a pair of attacks on correctional facilities that left 1,993 inmates missing. Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Manga said large, armed crowds had attacked the two prisons, subduing the guards on duty. It was unclear what the prisons exact populations had been before the attack.
Most of the inmates held at the centers are convicted criminals serving terms for various criminal offenses, awaiting execution or standing trial for violent crimes, he said in a statement.
The protests began two weeks ago after a video circulated showing a man being beaten, apparently by police officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS.
Young protesters marched in cities across Nigeria, under the banner #EndSARS. In response, the government announced it would ban the anti-robbery squad, which for several years human rights groups have blamed for widespread abuses, including torture and killings.
The demonstrators have not been satisfied with the disbandment of the SARS unit and are demanding an end to abuses and respect for human rights in all parts of the police force. The protests have stopped traffic in Lagos, the capital Abuja and many other large cities in Nigeria, a country of 196 million people.
(With inputs from agencies)