The Minister of State Aviation, Senator Hardi Sirika has said that the present regime has recorded many achievements in the Aviation sector since 2015.
The Minister said this during the 5th Aviation Stakeholders Forum organised Thursday by the Federal Ministry of Transportation at Abuja.
He expressed delight with the response of the top stakeholders who came even before the time and were well seated before the forum started.
Senator Sirika acknowledged that the public deserve all the necessary information but that he has chosen to give first hand information to aviation stake holders, as a point of first contact because of the technical jargons and interpretations involved in aviation communication.
He noted that the freedom of information bill is in operation and citizens, especially journalist and aviation analyst can avail themselves of the information window so as to get accurate information.
He said that the purpose of his being in the office is to ensure that all government policies and resolutions in the aviation sector are implemented to create jobs and positively impact on Nigerian.
He said that on assuming duty on September 2015 there were challenges which included over bloated staff, poor performance, non payment of salary arrears, pensions issues and others.
He also said that the regime started by putting a road map in to guide the ministry and move the aviation sector forward, which he explained and highlighted some of the achievements of the Aviation sector which included
1.The National College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria as presently the Aviation institution that run the highest ICAO accredited courses in the world.
2. Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Training Center has been accredited as a Security Training Center by ICAO.
He explained that the Aviation Security personnel has been well trained and fully equipped to safeguard the Airport environment.
3. That Nigeria is the only country that got the ISO 9001, 2015 in Meteorology.
4. Average growth was 33% on Domestic and 13.5% on International business.
Other achievements include improved Safety and Security Infrastructure/ Navigational facilities
– removal of duties and taxes for Domestic operators
– Weather related facilities
– Airport Development and Passenger Facilitation.
The Minister said that it was not true that the National Carrier process was suspended because there were no investors.
“There is justification for a National Carrier to create a healthy competitions, enhance growth, ensure that all routes are covered in the country, create employment for pilots and the aviation crew” he said
He added that airline will compete with foreign airlines for a share of international routes through competitive pricing thereby reducing capital flight.
He also said that the desirability of the national carrier was occasioned by the fact that no domestic airline had evolved to fill the vacuum left by Nigeria Airways since it ceased to operate more than 15 years ago.
He make it clear to participants that no foreign company was paid $600,000 for design of logo. That it was through the internet were over 400, 000 participants and due process was followed.
” No $600,000 was paid to any. All transactions were open and went through due process.” Sirika said
He declared that the Federal Government was determined to clarify issues of misinformation and set the record straight.
Earlier in his welcome address the Permanent Secretary of the FMOT, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari said that the interactive forum will give stakeholders opportunity to appraise what the sector has done and advised participants to ask pertinent questions and make suggestions that will help to further help in improving the aviation sector.
During the interaction stakeholders were of the consensus that the National Carrier was overdue but that Federal Government must ensure that due process is followed with strict business purpose.
The forum was well attended with the presence of the House Committee Chairman on Aviation , Hon Nkiru and the Ministers for Information and Justice.
The Aviation Stake holders forum is usually organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation (Aviation Sector), to update and engage stake holders on the current operations and future plans of the Ministry.