Stakeholders Task Buhari On Airports’ Infrastructure

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Some aviation stakeholders on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to redouble efforts at addressing the present aviation infrastructure gaps in his second tenure.
Those who spoke to The Tide source were the President of the Association of Aviation Professionals (ANAP), Mr Kabir Gusau and the Deputy General Secretary, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Mr Frances Akinjole.
It also included the Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi.
They noted that the country’s aviation industry required significant upgrade and expansion to meet the requirements of the projected growth and development the nation desired.
Gusau said that there were airports in some states that were still dilapidated apart from the ones in Lagos and Abuja.
“As I am speaking to you now, there are some airports that are in bad conditions apart from the airports in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt but there are some other airports that this government still needs to look into.
“Airport is an airport, because when we are talking about airports, we are talking about the navigation aids which help pilots to land and takeoff the terminal buildings and runways.
“All this aviation infrastructure should be looked into in this second term of the president,” he said.
Gusau also advised the president to appoint a substantive minister of aviation to head the affairs of the industry.
He said this was necessary because of the sensitivity of the industry, adding that the ministry of aviation should stand on its own and not under another ministry.
Gusau said that the immediate-past Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, had performed well and the decision to retain him lies with the president.
The ANAP president noted that whatever be the outcome, the incoming minister should continue from where the former minister had stopped.
He appealed to the president to appoint someone that knew the terrain because the industry wanted an experienced minister.
“He might be a pilot or an engineer but we do not want someone that does not understand the industry.
“The former minister tried his best so if the president is bringing in someone else, it should be someone that has the idea concerning aviation and not someone that does not carry the stakeholders along in his policy,” he said.
Also speaking, the ATSSSAN deputy general secretary, Akinjole, said Nigeria still had a long way to go in the area of aviation infrastructure.
He said the unions were expecting the president to hit the ground running by appointing a substantive minister that would interface with all stakeholders in the industry.
“On the type of aviation minister we are expecting from the president, we will prefer someone that has good knowledge about the sector and can improve on the present infrastructural deficiency in the industry.
“So the type of aviation minister we want, if it is not Sirika, is someone who is also ready to engage meaningfully with every stakeholder. We do not want a minister who believes he knows it all.
“We expect the incoming minister to have an interface among all the players in the aviation industry,” he said.