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October 3, 2023

Runway lighting stolen from Nigerian airport

Thieves have stolen the lighting system for one of the runways at Nigeria’s busiest airport just months after it was installed, an airport authority spokesman has confirmed to the BBC.

An investigation has now been launched to “arrest the criminals [and] recover what’s missing”, Yakubu Funtua added.

It is not clear when the system was taken from Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

But local media reported that airport workers were involved in the theft.

The ground lights were installed in November, ending years of after-dusk restrictions on landing on that wing of the airport.

Domestic carriers were forced to divert to the international section and taxi about 4km (2.5 miles) back to the right terminal, which caused flight disruptions.

Mr Funtua told the BBC that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria will “block all loopholes to prevent [a] future occurrence”.

The criminals took advantage of the fact that the runway had been closed for months for maintenance to take the lighting system, an unnamed source told Nigeria’s Punch newspaper.

The source blamed a “syndicate” of workers at the airport along with “accomplices from outside” for a series of thefts.

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