By LAWANI MIKAIRU
ENUGU — Former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, has said Nigeria must ensure that it does not sacrifice its development on the altar of politics if it must improve its infrastructure and better the lives of its citizens.
Oduah made this remark, weekend, in Enugu when she received an award from the Ikenga Award for Excellence Foundation for her enviable performance as Minister of Aviation and her transformation of the sector.
The former minister noted that Nigeria would continue to lag behind if the citizens allow political sentiments to blur their focus on the need to provide necessary infrastructure in all facets of the economy so that the country would maximise its human and material resources for the benefit of all.
She said while political interest is ephemeral, development is permanent and opportunity missed may never be regained.
On how the ongoing projects she left behind would be completed, Oduah said there was a well-articulated master plan that must be followed and which would guide all the development in the aviation industry.
She said: “I believe he (her successor) would follow the master plan to the letter; and really, anybody that does contrary to that is doing a disservice to the Nigerian people and there must be a continuation to the development of the aviation sector. It must be mainstreamed.
She said she was elated by the award and described it as the evidence that what was done at transforming the airports was appreciated. She, however, attributed all the achievements to collective efforts.
Other recipients of the Ikenga Award for Excellence include the former governor of Enugu State and former Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo; the former Minister of Information and Culture, Professor Dora Akunyili; former Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Michael Oghiadomhe and Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, an entrepreneur and owner of Innoson Motors.