By OLA JONES
The House of Representatives commended the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah for her giant strides in transforming the Aviation sector in Nigeria, saying the Ministry’s capital budget performance for 2012 fiscal year ranked amongst the best in the country.
Chairperson of the House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha who made the position of the House known during the 2013 Budget defence by the Ministry, said after inspecting the reconstruction and remodelling works of airport terminals across the country, the House was very satisfied with the quality of work and pace of transformation of the sector since the Minister assumed office a little over a year ago’.
“The aviation Ministry surpassed other ministries in terms of capital budget implementation for the 2012 fiscal year. The transformation of our airport terminals by the minister is phenomenal and highly commendable. We want to thank the Honourable Minister for taking the bull by the horns in the rehabilitation of airport infrastructure across the country, especially the toilets which are now a delight to all airport users”, the Chairperson declared.
Onyejeocha called for the early and improved implementation of the 2013 Appropriation Act, which she believes will be passed into law by the National Assembly before the end of the year, assuring that the Speaker, the Leadership and the entire members of the House are, and will continue to be solidly behind the Minister in her dream to to leave of legacy of visible and tangible transformation of the sector.
“The Speaker, the Leadership and the entire members of the House are very happy with the work you are doing in the sector. We assure you of our continued cooperation and support because we all have the interest of the sector at heart. We also believe the growth and development of the Nigerian economy is also tied to the growth and development of the aviation sector. The economy will not perform well if the aviation sector fails to do well, so we want the sector to be rated as the first in terms of its contribution to the national economy”, the Chairperson stated.
She however insisted that the high tempo of development and transformation of the sector witnessed in 2013 must be improved upon and sustained throughout the 2013 capital budget implementation.
“Keep doing what you are doing and remain focused. We are here for you, we will ensure that the aviation sector will not lack anything that is needed for its continued transformation. The Speaker and the National Assembly assures you that we are solidly behind you and will give you all necessary support and cooperation in order to enable you perform better in the coming year”, the Chairperson declared.
In her brief remarks, Aviation Minister Oduah thanked the leadership and members of the National Assembly for the support and cooperation given to the ministry since she came on board, stressing that little or nothing could have been achieved without their solid backing and encouragement.
She reiterated the fact that the aviation sector is pivotal to the economic growth of the nation, and assured that she and her team in the Ministry, working in concert with the National Assembly as one family will not disappoint the nation.
“We can assure you that we will strive to accomplish and surpass our achievements in 2012 next year”, she stated.
She stated that with 66 per cent of the ministry’s capital vote released so far, the Ministry has implemented and utilised 65 per cent.
She said the ministry hoped to complete the second phase of the remodelling projects by the second quarter of 2013’
The Minister, who said the theme of the 2013 budget in the Ministry is “ Facilities and Infrastructural Development and Upgrade”, declared that greater attention would be focused on the rehabilitation of safety infrastructure like airfield lighting, fire hydrants, landing instruments, navigational aids, security, amongst others.
Although she lamented that the budget provision is insufficient to tackle all the deficiencies in the sector, the Ministry would however work within the approved appropriation provided to continue the transformation drive in the sector.