By Emman Ovuakporie and Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – DEPUTY Speaker, House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun Tuesday said that he has continuously refused to fly local airlines in Nigeria because of the deficiencies in the operations and managements of the airlines.
Lasun who stated this when he represented the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara in a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Aviation on the need to rescue airline industry from imminent collapse, said that he took the decision as a result of the crash of airlines in the country.
Minister of state for Aviation, Hadi Sirika has said that the nation required trillions of naira to make the sector viable to compete with the sector internally.
The minister said that there was no going back in the concession of the airports in the country even as he promised that the process will be transparent.
He assured that in the next 10 years, there would be 60 million passengers patronising the nation’s airports but that it would not be possible without putting in place all the enabling environments, adding that the viability of the airport was subject to the activities happening at the airports.
On the suspension of flight by domestic airlines, the minister said some of the airlines were “structurally deficient and financially unhealthy”, adding that the government was battling to make them economic reasonable.
But, the Air Traffic Service Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSAN, through its national President, Comrade Benjamin Okewu, stoutly opposed the concession of airports, hinging its opposition on the nature and structure of the Federal Airport Aviation of Nigeria, FAAN.