By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, has explained why a handful of detractors remains unrelenting in the criticisms of her and the aviation industry.
The minister lamented in Abuja yesterday that apart from the political side to her travails, “entrenched interests in the aviation sector which have been ripping off the sector in the past 38 years and held the sector and stifling its development” were behind orchestrated attempts to disparage her.
Oduah, who sounded defiant, made it clear that she would not abandon the transformation agenda she was vigorously pursuing in the aviation sector because of the antics of her traducers so that Nigerians could derive maximum benefits from her struggle.
The minister’s words:”For the over 38 years that our airports were a damning commentary on our status as part of the civilised world; or when our airspace existed without the requisite navigational facilities to make the airspace safe; these category of persons saw no evil and heard no evil while they happily clapped their ways to the banks!
“This group has carried on with bitter venom, throwing decency and honour overboard, lying and misleading the Nigerian populace even when they know the truth because my team and I changed the game in favour of Nigeria attaining her pride of place in the comity of nations.
“For this category, that is the entrenched, corrupt and profligate individuals and entities who have caused the serious rot in the aviation sector, I owe no apologies.
“All I owe them is to further inform them that the current generation has seen through them and are no longer willing to tolerate their antics.”
Preferring not to comment on the controversial armoured cars saga, Oduah said the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan had changed the ways of doing things significantly in the country as the president recognised the infrastructural deficit in the nation and taken very bold steps to address them in order to bequeath to the next generation a nation that can compete favourably in the comity of nations and imbue our next generation with pride and patriotism.
She said, “The massive investment and the aggressive prosecution of this agenda in this regard have seen the aviation sector being transformed. Today, 22 airports owned by the Federal Government are at various stages of becoming decent and world class terminals.
”Nigeria’s airspace has become one of the safest in the world with the deployment of modern navigational equipments and infrastructures. The oversight capacity of the whole sector has been strengthened with the relevant regulations in place and the training and retraining of personnel.”