By LAWANI MIKAIRU & DANIEL ETEGHE
The new Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka Tuesday assured Nigerians that the country’s airports will not be transit points for the transmission of the Ebola virus. The minister gave the assurance while briefing aviation reporters on the outcome of his facility tour of Lagos Airport and interaction with aviation union workers . He also affirmed that the Aviation Master Plan was still on course.
According to Chidoka “I assumed office at a time that the world is faced with a great challenge, the challenge of the Ebola Virus, so part of the visit to Lagos yesterday, (Monday), was to review the medical procedure that has been put in place at the airport, the screening of passengers coming in and leaving Lagos and to reassure all Nigerians that we are doing our best within our ability to make our airports safe from the virus”.
He also said “ You can agree with me that the testing so far has been useful, you may also agree with me that the proactive manner with which Mr. President has reacted to the issue of Ebola virus, highlighting it and making it of national importance and coming out to make sure that the country does not go back in the fight against that virus has shown a path way for all of us, so that is why we decided to go to the airport yesterday to interact at the airport and to reassure Nigerians of the government commitment to keeping our airports safe and to making sure that it is not a transit point for the transmission of the Ebola virus.”
The minister solicited the corporation of all Nigerians as according to him “ Ebola virus is not a political issue, it is not an issue for passing the buck, it is an issue against humanity, it is an issue that we should all rise up and fight, it is an issue we should all show restrain and also compassion for those that have been infected with this illness especially members of the medical team who are everyday exposed to people with this virus.”
“So I want to assure all Nigerians of our commitment in keeping our airports Ebola virus free. It is a total commitment which I have the alignment of all the unions and stakeholders in the aviation industry. We will let you know our plans after we have met with the stakeholders in a couple of weeks, we will be sharing that plan with the media in making our airports safe and ensuring that passengers travel in comfort and convenience “
Chidoka also restated his commitment to the implementation of the aviation Master Plan and Road Map. “ To this end, our visit yesterday at the airport showed that a lot of progress has been made in the industry. Our engagement with the stakeholders has led to the affirmation that the aviation master plan is a document to be built on, our engagement with the key unions have shown that the industry is align in making sure that the aviation master plan and the road map remains a defining document in chatting our way forward.”