Daily Trust (Abuja)

5 November 2012

Nigeria: Aviation Minister Working Against Kano - PDP

Kano — Kano State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Aviation Minister Stella Oduah of deliberately working against the economic development of the state by refusing to grant permit to four airlines to operate in Kano.

The party also called on President Goodluck Jonathan to be wary of the minister's action, which it said was capable of hindering economic development of the whole region.

In a press release issued by Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso's spokesman, Halilu Dantiye, Kano State PDP chairman, Adamu Aliyu Sumaila was quoted as saying that the refusal to grant permits to the four airlines to be flying into Kano runs contrary to Jonathan's transformation agenda.

Aliyu, who was addressing newsmen at the end of the party's quarterly caucus meeting noted that "Turkish Airline, Ethiopian Airline, Emirates Airline and Sky Line have all signified readiness to start operating at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport but have been denied permission by the Minister," the statement said.

"The interest of these airlines in Kano signifies the peaceful nature of the state and its emerging economy," it added.

According to statement, while recalling that Malam Aminu Kano International Airport was the first airport in Nigeria, having been built in 1903, Aliyu appealed to the president to intervene so as to open up this part of the country for vibrant economic activities.

Oduah had in reaction to a story by this paper in August denied reports that she prevented Emirates, Etihad and Turkish Airlines from operating from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

The minister's spokesman Joe Obi in a statement said, "There is no truth whatsoever in that publication as the minister did not at any time prevent the said airlines from flying to Abuja and Kano.

"On the contrary, the minister has been an advocate of allowing all international airports in the country to operate direct flights. Emirates Airline has never applied for permit to operate into either Abuja or Kano international airports."

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