22 January 2013

Nigeria: Senate Backs Establishment of National Carrier

Lagos — Deputy Senate President Senator Ike Ekweremadu yesterday expressed support over the proposed national carrier for Nigeria.

Senator Ekweremadu expressed the Senate support in Abuja yesterday while commissioning the newly designed and built General Aviation Terminal at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.

He said Nigeria, like some other countries of the world, should have a national carrier that will showcase Nigeria globally.

He said countries like South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and others have carriers, which fly their flag.

He tasked the minister to ensure that the Nigeria has a viable national carrier during her time, saying the liquidation of Nigeria Airways was a wrong move by the Federal Government.

While commending the Minister of Aviation for quality and purposeful leadership, he challenged other ministers to be committed to transforming their ministries.

He said the ministry has judiciously used its allocations and charged other government departments and agencies to emulate.

He described the facilities at the GAT Abuja as good and efficient, saying "What we are seeing today is an example of what government can do to transform the society. If every segment of government decides to develop the society, there would be developments in all the sectors of the economy."

The Minister of Aviation Princess Stella Oduah said there are 50 private jets currently being operated in Nigeria but the numbers would rise significantly hence the need to provide exclusive travel facilities for them in line with global best practices and to maximise profit.

She said globally exclusive services are provided private jets operators but was quick to say that regular travellers would also get un-compromised service experience in all the 22 airports being remodelled.

The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. George Uriesi disclosed that the construction of the terminal was the first to be dedicated to private charter operator in the country and hajj operations in Nigeria.

He said besides Abuja, five others would be constructed across the country and will be cited in Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kaduna, Lagos and Kano.

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