By Kenneth Ehigiator
ABUJA—The House of Representatives yesterday expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done on airports being re-modelled by the Aviation Ministry across the country.
Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, who spoke at the 2013 budget defence by Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, said that after committee’s tour of all the airports undergoing re-modelling in the country, it was satisfied with the quality and pace of work.
Onyejeocha, who expressed satisfaction at the ministry’s 2012 budget performance, said: “The Aviation Ministry surpassed other ministries in terms of capital budget implementation for the 2012 fiscal year.
“The transformation of our airport terminals by the minister is phenomenal and highly commendable. We want to thank the Minister for taking the bull by the horns in the rehabilitation of airport infrastructure across the country, especially the toilets which are now a delight to all airport users.”
Onyejeocha called for the early and improved implementation of the 2013 Appropriation Act, which she believed will be passed into law by the National Assembly before the end of the year.
She assured that the speaker, leadership and entire members of the House would continue to be solidly behind the Minister in her dream to to leave of legacy of visible and tangible transformation of the sector.
“The speaker, leadership and entire members of the House are very happy with the work you are doing in the sector. We assure you of our continued cooperation and support because we all have the interest of the sector at heart.
“We also believe the growth and development of the Nigerian economy is also tied to the growth and development of the aviation sector.
“ The economy will not perform well if the aviation sector fails to do well, so we want the sector to be rated as the first in terms of its contribution to the national economy,” she stated.
She, however, insisted that the high tempo of development and transformation of the sector witnessed in 2013 must be improved upon and sustained throughout the 2013 capital budget implementation.
“Keep doing what you are doing and remain focused. We are here for you, we will ensure that the aviation sector will not lack anything that is needed for its continued transformation.
“The speaker and the National Assembly assures you that we are solidly behind you and will give you all necessary support and cooperation in order to enable you perform better in the coming year,” Onyejeocha said.
In her brief remarks, Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, thanked the leadership and members of the National Assembly for the support and cooperation given to the ministry since she came on board, stressing that little or nothing could have been achieved without their solid backing and encouragement.
She reiterated the fact that the aviation sector is pivotal to the economic growth of the nation, and assured that she and her team in the Ministry, working in concert with the National Assembly as one familiy will not disappoint the nation. “We can assure you that we will strive to accomplish and surpass our achievements in 2012 next year”, she stated.
She stated that with 66 per cent of the ministry’s capital vote released so far, the Ministry has implemented and utilised 65 per cent. she said the ministry hopes to complete the second phase of the remodelling projects by the second quarter of 2013′
The Minister, who said the theme of the 2013 budget in the ministry is “ Facilities and Infrastructural development and upgrade”, declared that greater attention would be focused on the rehabilitation of safety infrastructure like airfield lighting, fire hydrants, landing instruments, navigational aids, security, amongst others in 3013.
Although she lamented that the the budget provision is insufficient to tackle all the deficiencies in the sector, the Ministry would however work within the envelop provided to continue the transformation drive in the sector.