The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo has released a 5-point agenda which he hopes to achieve over the next four years.
Keyamo released the agenda on Sunday through his social media handle.
Keyamo was appointed by President Bola Tinubu as the minister for the aviation sector which faces a severe foreign exchange crunch and high cost of aviation fuel.
He said his first agenda is to “Ensure strict compliance with safety regulations and continuous upward movement of Nigeria’s rating by ICAO. “
He also promised to “Support the growth and sustenance of local airline businesses whilst holding them to the highest international standards in the aviation industry.”
According to him, there would be“Improvement of infrastructures in the aviation industry and development of human capacity within the industry.
“Optimizing revenue generation for the federal government.”
Since Keyamo took over, he has taken several decisive actions to reset the aviation industry. He suspended the Nigerian Air project of the Muhammadu Buhari-led government and ordered probe into the matter.
The minister ordered the shutdown of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos from October 1, 2023, for total maintenance work at the airport.
He has also begun works on the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
However, the airline operators believe the Nigerian government favours international airlines at the detriment of local airlines.
Allen Onyema, the Chairman of Air Peace said, “The local airlines also have trapped funds with the Central Bank, not just the foreign airlines. So, the AON, we don’t want a situation where the foreign airlines are threatened in isolation. We have a case too. Just as they have trapped funds in Nigeria, we also have. These monies are in their bank accounts. They can change it though the I&E window, they can go through the Central Bank.
“We support that Nigeria should pay airlines of foreign origins their money but at the same time, the government should look into what is happening in the Nigerian government funds. Most of us have naira and dollars with the CBN and they have not given us our naira or dollars.”