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Airport remodeling didn’t follow due process – Stakeholders

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Stakeholders in the aviation sector have said they are not surprised at the turn of events regarding the airport remodelling project, stating that the review ordered by the Federal Government is expected.

The stakeholders, who spoke in separate interviews with our correspondent in Lagos on Wednesday, said due process was not followed in sourcing for the funds used for the projects initiated by the former Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah.

This, they said, had inevitably led to the funding constraints currently stalling the progress of some of the projects.

The Federal Government had announced on Monday that it would suspend some projects initiated by Oduah due to paucity of funds to continue them as well as the rising financial indebtedness of the ministry.

The Supervising Minister for Aviation, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who replaced Oduah following her sacking by President Goodluck Jonathan, said the Federal Government had commenced a holistic review of projects embarked upon by the ministry.

The President, Aviation Roundtable, Capt. Dele Ore, said most of the projects embarked upon by the former minister were not necessary and that funds were not used for what they were meant for.

He said, “I am not surprised at what is currently happening concerning the projects; I have said it before that the projects cannot last beyond the tenure of the former minister. There was no budget, no probity and no due process in their activities, nothing!

“Usually, the Bilateral Air Service Agreement funds lodged with the Central Bank for Nigeria for aviation development must be approved by the director-general in charge before one can dip hands into it, but in this case, all that processes were bypassed.

“She (Oduah) had unlimited access to those funds and they were just being allocated anyhow; no one was keeping tabs; how then do you think such could be sustained?”

Ore said most of the projects were lofty but cosmetic in nature, adding that they should have been by handled through Public Private Partnerships.

“In my opinion, I think they must do all they can not to abandon those projects, they must look for funds somehow to complete them; we will wait and see how it will be handled again,” Ore said.

The Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Aviation Safety and Security Consult, Mr. John Ojikutu, said the funds invested in the project should have been channelled into safety and security facilities at the various airports.

He said, “I have always said that the government has no business in putting money in all these projects. These are projects that the private sector is supposed to carry out in a well-structured environment.

“The funds that were injected into the building of all those projects are supposed to be for safety and security such as maintenance of the airspace, runway repairs and management, perimeter fencing, lighting, security fencing and others.”

Ojikutu added that these were the things that the International Civil Aviation Organisation would look out for during its inspection of the nation’s aviation facilities and not the terminals.

Article Credit: Punchng

Updated 5 Years ago

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