Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said he was impressed with what he saw at the Lagos Airport.
He also categorically gave the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), a directive to get a befitting headquarters for itself.
Amaechi and the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, were at the headquarters of FAAN in Lagos before the commencement of their inspection tour of aviation agencies, on Wednesday December 23, 2015.
“I am impressed by what we have seen. When people express dissatisfaction with the airports, they are looking at the terminal only but there are lots of other things that have been achieved to make aircraft fly safely. But there are projects that must be completed. We have given the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) two months to replace the two old conveyor belts, so that there will be six modern conveyor belts at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos,” the Minister said.
In addition, the Minister said, once all safety related issues have been thoroughly addressed, the agency should meet with the Federal Government and they can work out modalities to give FAAN a befitting headquarters.
Furthermore, Rt Hon Amaechi gave express orders to the agencies to recover all outstanding debts, stating that there will be no sacred cows in the area of debt recovery.
Also speaking, Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, said government is currently studying the report of the committee on national carrier, expressing belief that if such is established, several jobs would be created, apart from training and access to maintenance facilities.
The Managing Director of FAAN Engr Saleh Dunoma lauded efforts by the present administration in integrating the transport sector. According to him, ‘the successful integration of the transport sector will galvanize the economy, and enable the sector play its leading role in the country’s socio-economic development”.
He noted that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has consistently been recording tremendous growth in passenger and aircraft traffic movement. In 2014, the total passenger traffic was 15, 339, 393 as against 14, 126, 767 in 2013, representing 8.6% increase. Aircraft movement in 2014 was 257, 409 as against 225, 288 in 2013, representing 14.3% increase.
The Ministers were accompanied by Sabiu Zakari, Permanent Secretary , Ibrahim Idris, DPRS, Capt Talba Alkali, DSTP, Engr Musa Hassan, DATM, Deputy Directors from the Ministry as well as senior management officers. On hand to receive the team were Engr Saleh Dunoma MD, FAAN, Capt Muktar Usman DG NCAA, Engr Abdulsalam Ibrahim, MD, NAMA, Dr Anthony Anuoforum DG, NIMET, Capt Felix Abali, Commissioner, AIB and other aviation stakeholders.
Places inspected included the Aviation Medical Clinic, General Aviation Terminal, International Terminal, the New Terminal under construction, control tower, TRACON, Nimet, Sahcol and Nahco amongst others.