FG Expends Over N100 Bn  on Aviation Sector in 5 Years _Ada Nkong

Over N100billion has been invested in the aviation sector over the last five years for airport equipment’s, staff training, and emolument.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika made this known at the 8th edition of the aviation workers week with the theme; ‘The challenges of COVID-19 pandemic to the Nigerian Aviation industry: the path to recovery.’
The Minister of State for Science and Technology, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi who represented Sirika described the aviation sector “as key to global security”.

Explaining further the amount invested in the sector, he said: “The government deployed resources to equipping state governments through various interventions. From 2015 till date, the federal government has deployed over N100billion to develop the aviation sector.
“When this government came on board in 2015, there were a number of airports projects that were abandoned, basically because of lack of fund and because of arguments over contractual obligations, so the government evaluated some of these challenges and committed funds towards that.
“The funds were used for airports upgrade, procurement of equipment, training of staff, settling of relevant emolument, navigation equipment, weather equipment and so many others. So it was whole industry intervention.”

He added that lthe investment has paid off citing reduced cases of accidents.
“We have seen great improvement in our investment. In those days, the frequency of accidents used to be more but it has reduced. Most planes can land in most of our international airports at night, there are landing equipment that aid navigation, there are lots of improvements in the industry.”

On the establishment of the National Council on Civil Aviation, he said: “Most industries have what they call a council, for instance, there is a council for science and technology, council on agriculture, council on education, what they do is to meet with stakeholders from various states and look at challenges facing the industry and begin to address them.
“Now, because state governments are also establishing airports, it has become necessary for a council to be established so that there can be proper coordination of activities in the aviation sector, because most states don’t have the expertise and they lack a background in aviation, so they need to be liaising with federal aviation authorities and that can only be done easily if there is a council on aviation.”

He also allayed fears that the council will take over the jobs of some agencies, adding that the government will consider the establishment of the council as requested by the unions.

 “It does not take away the functions of the agencies under the aviation sector, it is more of a complementary role. I believe the government will look into it and see how it can be established considering all the legal frameworks.”

Chairman of the Joint Consultative and Negotiating Council, Comrade Hector Nnadi who buttressed the need for the aviation council said it will give staff opportunities to compare notes on key policy decisions or issues.
“The essence is to annex most of the different opinions. State airports are coming up, it is also clear that aviation is on the exclusive list which but will be a platform where we can all meet, look at policy and challenging issues and annex them so that the industry can move forward.”
Nnadi lamented the loss of jobs and revenue in the aviation sector as a result of covid-19 which he said has affected the union greatly and expressed hope that the 2021 edition of the annual event will afford stakeholders the opportunity to offer solutions to the challenges in the sector.




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