FG to complete outstanding projects before 2023 — Sirika

August 12, 2021
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The Federal Government has promised to complete all outstanding projects in the Nigerian aviation industry before 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to handover political power to a new government.

The minister of aviation Senator Hadi Sirika who made the declaration through the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau-Nigeria (AIB-N), Mr Akin Olateru in Lagos, said that all hands were on the deck to ensure that the government completed all the ongoing projects in the sector.

Part of the projects was the ongoing construction of the new terminal at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), which commenced in 2013.

The $600 million; $500 million loan deal secured from China and the $100 million counterpart funding from the Federal Government, had commenced in 2013 with a completion period of 20 months.

The two leaders of Aviation Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives had recently raised the alarm over the alleged abandonment of the project, which they said had reached over 90 per cent completion stage.

According to Sirika “We are committed to achieving the completion of outstanding projects we have set out for ourselves before our term runs out. We have a vision of a sector that will provide utmost comfort, safety, and security for majority of passengers.”

Sirika equally assured that the ministry of aviation had a clear roadmap for the development of the sector in Nigeria, stressing that it would ensure its growth to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through its policies and programmes even as he expressed regret over the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the sector and quoted the statistics from the

International Air Transport Association (IATA), which put the revenue loss in Nigeria at $994 million in 2020, unemployment; 125,370 and loss of contribution to the GDP at $885 million.

In a bid to improve the operating environment for investors in the sector, Sirika also cited how the government ensured zero import duties on aircraft engine and spare parts, special foreign exchange window for the aviation sector, improved availability of aviation fuel, restructured the aviation agencies, improved safety and security.

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