Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Mr. Adamu Aliero, yesterday expressed dissatisfaction with the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, over safety and security equipment purchased by government, but dumped at the nation’s airports.
In an oversight function at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, the committee while expressing readiness to assist the ministry in moving the sector forward, said the committee is aware that tax payers money have been used to purchase the security equipment but dumped at the airports.
He said: “We appreciate and support your safety and security plans for the airports. We will give you the support to secure our airports.
“We are aware that a number of equipment have been purchased, some of them have been dumped without being put into use.
“We don’t know why and certainly we intend to go and investigate the equipment that were purchased with tax payers money and that have not been installed meant for security.”
Aliero said the committee was impressed with the attainment of 65 percent overall performance of its 2016 budget performance, adding that the grand total releases stood at 43 per cent while the total average performance was 65 percent.
A breakdown of the ministry’s 2016 budget showed a total appropriation of N19,858,571,749.00, total released was N8, 457,010,646.86.
So far, N4, 290, 948, 284.23, had been spent, leaving a balance of N4,166, 062,362.63.
However, there is an outstanding balance of N11,401,561,102.14 balance on the appropriation.
The committee members also expressed support for the establishment of the proposed national carrier to be run on PPP initiative.
According to him, Nigeria’s role in international politics, population, and location makes its long over due for a national carrier, stressing however that it must be run, the way the defunct Nigeria Airways was operated.
He said: “Government must be at the forefront by providing enabling environment and when that is done we shall set to establish a national carrier.
“We are located in the heart of Africa where access to East and West and Central Africa is very easy. Nigeria can become an aviation hub provided we have the political will and the wherewithal to do this.”
In a remark, Sirika, assured that the capital budget performance of 39 percent will increased considerably before March 2017.
He attributed the poor performance due to the delay in the passage of the 2016 budget.
“I have to say here that the budget processes for 2016 was late due to unforeseen reasons it came late and therefore appropriation and access to funds through the Act established has become challenging and took this time to arrive at 39 percent.
I want to assure that the figure will rise soon for the activities that deserve and of course will add to the general dynamics of the economy.”
According to the minister, plans are on to concession the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt airports while the rest will follow later. He added that ICAO is will to support government in the establishment of an Aviation University.