21 January 2013

Nigeria: Ekweremadu Tasks Aviation Ministry On National Carrier

The Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, has called on the Ministry of Aviation to bring back the lost glory of the nation's air transport sector by resuscitating the national carrier.

Ekweremadu made the call in Abuja on Monday at the inauguration of the re-modeled General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Ekweremadu said the resuscitation would make Nigeria the giant of Africa and a hub for aviation.

He promised lawmakers' support to ensuring that the minister of aviation achieved success in the endeavour.

On the re-modeled terminal, Ekweremadu said: "this is a milestone in the history of the aviation sector in the country.

"We have never had it so good but it can be better if the gesture is extended to commercial flights so that all Nigerians can enjoy the new wave in the industry.

"Nigeria used to be the giant of Africa, especially with our national carrier, which flew to many parts of the world.

"But at some point, we missed it. Now that there is a veritable hand manning the industry, we are calling on the minister and her people to come up with a grand plan to ensure that the national carrier is brought back.

"It is our national pride. It has to come back. Let us make our aviation industry part of the transformation agenda of this present government.

"Nigerian flag should fly across the world through our national carrier," he said.

He commended the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, for the transformation of the industry.

Oduah in her speech, said that the projects embarked upon in the industry was to provide comfort for the people and to generate more revenues for government.

"The aviation road map which is a creation of this administration is designed to revolutionalise the aviation industry and increase revenue derivable from the sector by 300 per cent.

"This entails institutionalised world class safety and security standard through reforms, infrastructure development, employment, shopping, trading, business, leisure and cargo haulage."

She promised that the national carrier would commence operations once the approval was given.

"We are at the last lap to getting approval for a national carrier and we believe that very, very soon, it will come into existence," she said.

Oduah promised that seven airport projects across the country would be inaugurated in the next six to seven weeks.

The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr George Uriesi, said that more re-modelled airports at Enugu, Kaduna, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano would be inaugurated soon.

Present at the occasion were the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Sen. Shaba Lafiaji, and the Chairman House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha, among others.

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