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Senate Committee On Aviation Assures Resumption Of Work At Airports

Kayode Adelowokan

In a bid to bring sanity to the Nigerian Aviation sector, the Senate committee on Aviation today assured that work would soon resumed at all the 22 airports across the country.

This is according to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodima, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, during a tour of the airport by the committee that anytime from now, contractors would go back to work as the National Assembly has passed the 2014 appropriation bill.

Uzodima also said that the committee was not aware that the ongoing remodeling projects at the airports were suspended due to funding.

He said, “We have come to listen to the aviation parastatals and the contractors, to find out what challenges they are facing and call them to order if there was need for it. We will partner with the agencies and look at critical areas to ensure that no project is suspended. We must do something that is better than what we have 40 years ago.

“The project is a good concept, a good idea, all we want is a new terminal that will meet the need of airport users and contain big aircraft.

“FAAN and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) have the fund and personal capacity to make the airfield working. A lot of job has being done to make sure the cooling systems are working.

“On Monday in Abuja at the ministry, we discovered and it was confirmed by the ministry that under the phase 3 remodelling that FAAN and the ministry of aviation are indebted to the tune of over N174bn, these are funds not within the budget, you will agree with me, they didn’t carry us along and that is why it is not in the budget. So, we now querried how they over committed government without prior approval now the only way to go because some of those projects are also as a critical as important, we now said that they will be a committee by the federal ministry of aviation to look at those projects and then repriotize them and see what the ministry will be able to shoulder given the lean resources under their envelop for 2014 and then talk with us and see how we can work together to now look for money to pay because there is already a commitment on the side of government. So you see when we are not carried along it is not because we didn’t share money but it is because they didn’t allow the national assembly to play their own role.”

Speaking on the road map said, “I told you that one of the very critical successes recorded by this administration is the area of transport, it is not only aviation, even road transport, the railway and all the rest, so there are no doubts in my mind that the aviation road map is working and we should also commend government for having the political will to provide the funding so if it is nto recommended by the ministry of aviation approved by federal executive council supported by the legislature, there will be no road map so we are all partners in progress and we are committed to that road map but we want prudent management under the road map, we want legitimacy and due progress observed under the road map but whether the budget objective is germane it is as important as it is been appreciated by all of us.

On Airfield lighting, “Now that the air fielding light has been transferred back to FAAN, we now know that FAAN has the technical and financial capacity to eise up to the challenges and ensure that we have all the runways lite up for night navigation, it is something that we must do because we must get value to every expenditure that we have done.

“The cooling system, you will agree with me that, that aspect of this building a lot of work has been done because so much work and money has been put in, what will make the thing more sensible is to make sure that the cooling system is also very good.”


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