The Nigerian Government has unveiled its road map for the Aviation Sector in 2021 with the plan for National Carrier serving as its topmost priority.
Unveiling the Aviation Road map to the Senate Committee on Aviation during 2021 budget defence session on Tuesday at the National Assembly, the Minister of Aviation , Hadi Sirika said the Road map to be implemented through Public Private Partnership ( PPP) has establishment of National Carrier as first in the agenda.
According to him, In 2021, the sum of =N=78.960billion is being proposed for capital expenditure at the headquarters in the Aviation Ministry and the emphasis will focus on the implementation of the Aviation Roadmap as by Mr. President.
“The roadmap would be implemented through Public Private Partnership, topmost of which will be the Establishment of National Carrier”.
Other projects to be executed as spelt out in the road map include, establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRC) facility, Development of Agro – Allied Cargo Infrastructure , Establishment of Aviation Leasing Company, Search and Rescue Unit and Establishment of Aerospace University with the support of International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO).
On the National Carrier, the Minister stressed that all required agreements and arrangements with other partners, have been worked out, making 2021 as the year the plan would come to fruition.
“This government right from inception in 2015, has been planning and strategizing on how to resuscitate National Carrier for Nigeria as far as global Air Transportation is concerned, the plan going by what is on the ground now, will be actualised next year through the PPP arrangement”.
There are also indications that the aviation sector is rapidly expanding with ten new Airports coming up in the country in states like Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, and Yobe, while many others are taken over by the Federal Government such as Gombe, Kebbi, Dutse, and Zuru Airports.
He however said that safely and security are more of important issues to them in the Aviation sector than establishment of new Airports.
“Safety and security issues first before any other thing in the Aviation sector the reason why efforts are being made to put some of the Airports with issues of failing infrastructure in good shape.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi, requested the Minister to ensure the upgrade of the Ajaokuta Airstrip and establishment of Lokoja Airport.
He also frowned at the State of disrepair in which airports in most parts of north central Nigeria such as Ilorin, Minna and Makurdi are currently in.
Source: Voice of Nigeria