Vanguard (Lagos)

4 February 2014

Nigeria: Our Focus Is to Reposition Nigerian Aviation Industry, Says Oduah

Aviation Minister, Princes Stella Oduah, said weekend, that the focus of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration was to reposition the aviation industry in the country to become a major player in the world.

This came as PDP Women Leader and a Former Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Kema Chikwe, applauded the government for its efforts in the on-going remodelling of 22 airports across the country.

Speaking during a tour of some airports in the country, Princes Oduah affirmed that Nigerians deserved to have an aviation sector recognised across the world, noting that the sector was also a driver for economic growth.

She said it was necessary to take a tour of the airports to see the pace of work and prepare them for commissioning within the first quarter of the year, stressing that facilities at the various airports were upgraded for the comfort of Nigerians.

Princes Oduah said: "We want to say to Nigerians that in aviation, there are more of this to come and we are not just focusing on the terminals, we are also focusing on ensuring that Nigeria aviation industry is repositioned, we are ensuring that we have aviation that we deserved.

"In doing so, we have to put in place all the safety facilities and infrastructure, the power, the runway, the fencing and we are almost completing the fencing of this terminal in Sokoto airport, so there are so many things that are going on simultaneously and this administration has graciously mainstreamed aviation in order to ensure that it remains pivotal in social and economic growth in our dear country, so we are really grateful to President Goodluck Jonathan."

Meanwhile, PDP Women Leader and a former Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Kema Chikwe, applauded the Federal Government for its efforts in the on-going remodelling of 22 airports across the country.

Chikwe, who was also a former Nigerian ambassador to Ireland, noted that Nigerian airports had been in deplorable condition until the present government stepped in to reverse the trend through upgrade in facilities and airport re-modelling.

She said: "When I was the Minister of Aviation, there were so many competing needs as the country had just ushered in democratic governance and every sector was in dire need of attention, as military rule seemed to have neglected every aspect of the nation's economy."

Chikwe commended Princess Stella Oduah for the transformation of airports, describing her as a determined and hardworking woman who had shown dedication to duty.

She said the next step was for the private sector to move into the industry and develop it to grow to what was obtainable in the western world.

She, however, said it was the level of deterioration of airports infrastructure that prompted the Federal Government to take the revolutionary step of total overhaul of the facilities and improvement of security in the airspace, adding that President Jonathan wanted to carry out urgent intervention in order to salvage the industry.

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