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11 Dec 2013

I inherited total decay in aviation sector, Oduah tells Senate

Stella Oduah
Stella Oduah
ABUJA—Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, yesterday, told the Senate Committee on Aviation that the aviation sector was in total collapse when she assumed duty as minister, saying she had repositioned the sector to meet global standards.
This came as she said investigation into the crashed Associated Airline was still on-going even as she disclosed that the ministry had established a black-box laboratory centre in the country.
Oduah said rather than being crucified over some challenges still in the sector, she deserved commendation as her efforts helped to give the country’s aviation sector a face-lift to meet modern challenges.The Aviation Minister said this when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation.
She insisted that the aviation sector was in a deep rot when she took office in July 2011.The minister said: “The sector was dilapidated, unmanned and highly unprofessional” when she took a facility tour on assumption of office in July, 2011.
Princess Oduah disclosed that the nation’s airports were characterised by obsolete, unserviceable and unavailable safety and security before her assumption as minister.
The minister was invited by the committee to explain the possible causes of the incessant air accidents in the aviation sector in recent times as well as her role in the controversial purchase of two bullet-proof cars, which value was put at N255 million.
But she did not comment on the controversial bullet-proof cars.Playing a video tape of the crashed Associated Airline before members of the committee to see, Oduah called for understanding, saying the concluded investigation would unearth the problem that caused the air mishap.
According to her, what was operating then was an unsafe working condition for airport staff, especially those of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.
“There were several abandoned control towers all over the nation. We had 154 abandoned control projects all over. There were also several runways without runway lighting.
“There were massive leakages of agencies’ revenue due to manipulation of manual revenue collection process.
“There was also further loss of revenue due to several lopsided so-called ‘concession’ agreements skewed against the government and public interests”, she added.


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