NIGERIA has stepped up her plans to improved the country’s airport network and bring it up to international standards with aviation minister Hadi Sirika leading a team of officials to inspect facilities in Turkey and Brazil with a view to learning from them.
Over recent years, Nigeria has sought to upgrade her aviation sector through the refurbishment of airports, offering airlines loans to upgrade their aircraft and of late, seeking to flat a national carrier. According to Mr Sirika, to help achieve this, he and his officials have embarked on the tour as part of efforts to ensure transparency, inclusiveness and sincerity in the airport concession programme, so they choose the right model.
He stated the essence of the visit was to dispel all doubts and suspicion regarding the sincerity of the federal government in respect to the concession programme and to reassure labour of the inherent benefits of the programme. According to the minister, the choice of the two airports was based on their popularity, size and their success stories on concession.
Mr Sirika said: “The team that visited the Istanbul Airport in Turkey and the Brasilia Airport in Brazil with the included the rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria Captain Alkali Modibbo, the acting managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency Matthew Pwajok, the transaction adviser on airport concessions Dr Abba Ibrahim and the director-general of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission Michael Ohiani.
Also there was the senior technical assistant to the minister Yusuf Anas, the special assistant to the minister on administration Ahmed Sanusi and the secretary-general of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals Saidu Abdulrazak. Also present were the secretary-general of National Union of Air Transport Employees Ocheme Abah and Adenike Adesola, the cabin service supervisor.
Mr Sirika said that the achievement by the two airports being visited would serve as a guide on the concession model and contribute to the successful delivery of the programme in Nigeria. He maintained that the federal government is determined to sustain principles of transparency and accountability which had been the hallmark of the process from inception till the final delivery of the project in the country.