Aviation Minister Advocates Establishment Of Special Fund For Sector | Independent Newspapers Nigeria

…As Senate Conducts Public Hearing On 6 Aviation Executive Bills

Abuja- Senator Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation has called for the establishment of Aviation Development Fund to address issues bedevilling the industry.

Senator Sirika made the call on Tuesday during his presentation in the ongoing three day public hearing on the six aviation Executive Bills held at the National Assembly

The Bills are; “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and to Enact the Civil Aviation Act for the Regulation of Civil Aviation in Nigeria and for Other Related Matters.

“A Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Act and to Enact the Nigerian Aviation Technology Act to provide for its organisation, control and operation and for related Matters. Also included is a Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency Act for the purpose of providing effective Air Navigation.”

The Minister lamented that the sector is battling with paucity of fund to address the issues of inadequate safety equipment at the nation’s airport, passenger comfort and perceived indifference of the regulatory agency and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.

Declaring that the Aviation Development Fund being proposed with friendly interest rate would come handy for the sector to address its enormous financial challenges, the Minister stated that the Ministry need huge fund to deal with capital intensive projects, including what Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) will require.

He said: “We need huge amount to put them in place. Of course, we need adequate security around the airport to deal with intruders.”

“If we are able to find this money and deal with these items, what we will be addressing is sustainability of the items.”

“We need Aviation Development Fund, where these money can be kept, where we are cocksure that these fund with little interest can be tapped. All we would then need is to boost our Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR).”

“This Fund will help us with passenger comfort, safety around airport. This volume of capital can be deployed to ensure that every aviation equipment are available at our airports.”

On his part, the Director General of NAMA, Fola Akinkuotu expressed delight over the proposed amendment of the Bill establishing NAMA, noting it would boost the much needed improvement, efficiency to improve safety in our airspace.

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