PHOTOS: FG Spends Over Five Billion Naira On Aviation Fire Training Facility

 

The Federal Government has acquired a fire training facility worth 5billion Naira to boost safety and security of the aviation industry.

The minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika who went to inspect the fire fighting simulator said the high tech, multi-functional machine which is the first to be procured in Africa, with a life span of 25years is able to fight fires in engines, cockpits, smoke, wheel, cargo as well as over 44 likely fire scenarios.

This he says is all part of the president’s promise to provide better security for all Nigerians.

Below are photos from the inspection of the facility by the minister of aviation.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Woos Potential Investors In Dubai

Aviation Minister Reacts To Atiku’s Search, Says It Is Routine Process

FG Says Abuja Airport 57% Complete

 

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, says it is a routine process for all incoming passengers on international flights to go through customs, immìgration, health and security screenings.

Sirika said this in a statement signed by him on Sunday, in reaction to comments by the Presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, that he was searched at the airport on his arrival from Dubai, with the aim of intimidating him.

The PDP also issued a statement alleging that security agents invaded Atiku’s aircraft with dangerous weapons to conduct a violent search.

It further stated that the security officials tampered with his personal documents and gadgets.

But the aviation minister described the allegations as a mischievous attempt to grab the headlines.

Read Also: PDP Condemns Alleged Harassment Of Atiku At Abuja Airport

He explained that while it is true that the Task Force on Currency at the airport did the routine action of checking the former Vice President’s travel bag, he was accorded full respect as a senior citizen.

The statement read in part, “For the records, all incoming passengers on international flights go through customs, Immìgration, health and security screening.

“Where the aircraft is using the private, charter wing, as the PDP Candidate did, such arrivals are met by a team of the Immìgration, customs and other security agencies. They go to the arriving aircraft as a team.

“The airport authorities confirm that this is a routine process, applying to all international arrivals, including the minister unless the passenger is the President of Nigeria. The President, the Vice President and passengers aboard planes on the Presidential air fleet use the Presidential wing of the airport.

“It is also important to state that even in the Presidential Wing of the airport the President of Nigeria uses, there is the presence of Immìgration and other security officials who must stamp his or her passport on arrival.

“By standard procedure, all aircraft on international arrivals must first of all park at the international wing of the aircraft. They can move to the domestic terminal only upon the completion of the arrival processes.

“While it is true that the Task Force on Currency at the airport did the routine action of checking the former Vice President’s travel bag, he was accorded full respect as a senior citizen.

“These checks are mandatory, conventional, internationally applied and routine. No one is excused from them under our laws. These checks are carried out on all international arrivals and President Buhari does not get involved in them.

“Law-abiding citizens are encouraged to respect the laws of the country and our VIPs should not seek to be treated over and above the citizens they wish to serve”.

Aviation Minister Names Airport Concession As Next Big Thing

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has identified the concession of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and three others, as the next big project, after the successful rehabilitation work on the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Senator Sirika, disclosed this to Channels Television’s correspondent in Benue state, during the induction of mi-35m gunships by President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Ministry of Aviation partners the Nigerian Airforce on airport security, research and training programmes.

The minister urged Nigerians to trust the Federal Government in protecting their interest, as was the case with the Abuja Airport runway project. He also stressed that four airports;  that of Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Kano, are not up for sale but concession.

READ: Passengers Applaud Timely Rehabilitation Of Abuja Airport

He said this days after domestic flights resumed operations at the Abuja Airport, following the re-opening of the runway to traffic.

Passengers aboard a domestic flight expressed delight at being able to fly directly into the capital city, and applauded the timely rehabilitation of the facility.

FG Says Abuja Airport 57% Complete

planeThe Federal Government has again reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the re-opening of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on April 19, 2017.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said this on Thursday during an interview with reporters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

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runway under construction

He made the assertion after inspecting the progress of work at the facility, alongside the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed.

Mr Sirika said the rehabilitation is 57 per cent complete, reassuring air travellers that the airport will be re-opened with a new runway and a new terminal building on the scheduled date.

runway under construction
runway under construction

The assertion follows the disapproval of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation over the pace of work at the airport.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Honourable Nkiru Onyejeocha, warned the contractors to keep to the stated date of completion, noting that the Committee will not tolerate request for extension of time.

abuja-airport

Speaking earlier at a meeting in Lagos State, Mr Sirika said he will resign if the airport is not opened by April 19.

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He noted that the level of work on the Abuja runway in the past three weeks shows that the re-opening will be on schedule.

Abuja Airport: House Cmtte’ Frowns On Pace Of Work

Abuja Airport Closure: Amaechi, Sirika Appear Before SenateThe House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has expressed worry over the pace of work ahead of the completion date for ongoing rehabilitation work at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

Speaking to reporters on Monday shortly after inspecting the runway of the airport, Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Nkiru Onyejeocha, criticised the level of work at the airport.

She warned the contractors to keep to the original completion date of April 19, 2017, noting that the Committee would not tolerate request for extension of time.

In another development, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, was confident that the completion date is achievable.

Stating the level of his confidence, Mr Sirika said he would resign if the airport is not opened by April 19, 2017.

He said the level of work on the Abuja runway in the past three weeks shows that the re-opening would be on schedule.

FG Reveals Plans To Construct Four New Runways

FG Reveals Plans To Construct Four New RunwaysThe Federal Government says four new runways will soon be constructed at four international airports in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Lagos.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this on Tuesday when he led the Minister of Information around facilities at the Kaduna International Airport.

The Minister added that the expansion of the runways at the four airports would offer more direct local and international flights, as well as eliminate delays often experienced in the course of landing and taking off of aircraft.

“There will be a second runway in Abuja. Hopefully within the next 24 months, we would have a new runway.

“And then there is a second runway in Kano (the military runway), a second runway in Lagos and a second runway in Port Harcourt,” Mr Sirika said.

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, on his part briefed reporters on the Federal Government’s plan of a complete makeover on some of the airports across the country.

“As a government, we’ve put in place to the best of our ability, arrangements that will ensure security and also guarantee safety of operation both on tarmac and off tarmac, and on route,” he said.

Nigeria To Establish National Carrier In 2017 – Sirika

Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Nigeria, National CarrierThe Federal Government has announced that it will ensure the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria before the end of 2017.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, made the disclosure at a meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation.

He led some officials of the Ministry of Aviation to defend the ministry’s 2017 budget at the session with the lawmakers on Thursday at the National Assembly in Abuja.

Senator Sirika also highlighted some other projects that the ministry would focus on in 2017.

The Chairman of the committee, Representative Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, set the tone of the meeting as the lawmakers began by looking at how well the ministry implemented its 2016 budget.

While scrutinising the 2017 budget proposal of the ministry, some members of the committee expressed concern about the effect of the exchange rate on some of the proposed projects.

The lawmakers had some queries for the ministry and gave the officials two days to submit the outstanding documents.

Transportation, Aviation Ministers Appear Before Senate

Transportation, Aviation Ministers Appear Before Senate The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika and the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, have appeared before the Senate on Thursday, to explain the reason for the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Senate invited both ministers on Thursday to explain the reason for the closure and rather explore other options besides closing the airport.

According to the lawmakers, closing the airport would bring hardship on local and international travelers.

Mr Sirika, however explained that it would be unsafe to continue to operate in the Abuja Airport, as there have been daily incidents on the runway.

Furthermore, the former pilot, stated that every flight plan always had alternate landing routes and Kaduna has always been the alternative for the Abuja airport.

He also pointed out that most of the sections of the runway have collapsed and if multiple sections have collapsed, it means the entire runway has collapsed.

The runway in the Abuja airport was constructed in 1982 with a lifespan of 14 years which had been exceeded.

FEC Approves Abuja Airport Closure For Repairs

FEC Approves Abuja Airport Closure For RepairsThe Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport Abuja will be officially closed for six weeks to enable repair works on the runway which is said to be dysfunctional.

Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the council meeting.

He said that the federal government will also be spending over one billion Naira to complete the Kaduna airport terminal building, a project that had been abandoned for some time.

Also the Federal Executive Council approved over 4 billion Naira for the purchase of firefighting equipment to enable firemen in the country to perform their functions well.

Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazzau disclosed this to state house  correspondents after the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Reps Call For Investigation Of Aviation Fund Allegedly Diverted

House of Representatives, Reps, KidnappingThe House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to investigate the alleged diversion of 120 billion Naira Aviation Intervention Fund provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2012.

This is one of the recommendations adopted by the House after considering the report of its Committee on Aviation that looked into the need to rescue the airline industry from imminent collapse.

The House also approved a recommendation, urging the Minister of State for Aviation to stay action on the proposed concession of airports until he briefs the House and Nigerians.

In September, the Federal Government said there was no going back on its plan to concession the four major airports in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, told reporters in Lagos that the government had already indicated interest to concession the Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airports to improve their safety and capacity.

Mr Sirika says the current condition of airports had made it extremely difficult for Nigeria to attract the desired number of passengers to transform the country into an aviation hub.

“Nigeria has potential to do between 70 to 100 million passengers annually, within the next five years, if the right things are put in place.

“The 15 million annual passengers which is the country’s current capacity can be improved upon if private investors are allowed to participate in the sector.

“Government does not have money to put into these businesses and we don’t want to sell these facilities either; so that is why we are concessioning them because it is the only way to go,’” he said.

Lawmakers Probe Aviation Sector

house-of-representiatives-committee-on-aviationMembers of the House of Representatives on Tuesday held a public hearing on the challenges facing Nigeria’s aviation sector.

Officials of the government and stakeholders in the aviation sector were at the hearing.

Issues that had been whipped up by a plan to concession four international airports’ terminals were discussed.

The Federal Government says the planned concession of the four airports’ terminals is aimed at repositioning the aviation sector, generating more revenue and enhancing service delivery.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, gave the government’s position while addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on the need to rescue the airline industry from collapse.

He says the present economic situation has led to the downturn in the aviation sector.

One of the ways the government hopes to address some of the challenges in the sector is to focus on some airports, he told the lawmakers.

Representatives of airport staff unions, led by the National President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association, Benjamin Okewu, however, opposed the proposed concession.

Mr Okewu expressed fears that the airports the government was planning to concession were the viable ones.

house-of-representatives-probe-aviation-sector
Officials of the government and stakeholders at the hearing

The public hearing followed a motion passed by the House on the need to rescue the airline industry from imminent collapse.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, outlined some of the challenges that are of concern to the House to include the suspension of operations by local  airlines, increasing termination of operations by international airlines and the licencing requirements and capacity of local airlines.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yussuff Lasun, believes the sector is too economically viable to be ignored.

“This sector also supports 159,000 jobs in Nigeria,” he stressed.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Lanre Lasisi reports that the debate will continue over the next few days.

No Going Back On Airports Concession – FG

Aviation
Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika.

The Federal Government says there is no going back on its plan to concession the four major airports in the country.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who met with journalists in Lagos, explained that government had already indicated interest to concession the Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airports to improve their safety and capacity.

Mr. Sirika says the current condition of airports had made it extremely difficult for Nigeria to attract the desired number of passengers to transform the country into an aviation hub.

“Nigeria has potential to do between 70 to 100 million passengers annually, within the next five years, if the right things are put in place.

“The 15 million annual passengers which is the country’s current capacity can be improved upon if private investors are allowed to participate in the sector.

“Government does not have money to put into these businesses and we don’t want to sell these facilities either; so that is why we are concessioning them because it is the only way to go,’’ he said.

He also described the recent protest by some aviation unions as a misconception because this decision is to ensure proper management, while government retains ownership of the airports.

The minister noted that aviation was a money spinner and could help the government to generate revenue which would be used to revitalize the Nigerian economy.

He said the government was committed to the establishment of a national carrier, a Repair, Maintenance and Overhaul (MRO) facility and an aviation leasing company which would all be privately funded.

The minister noted that their absence in the country had constituted a huge challenge to the growth of the aviation sector.