Moved by the state of infrastructure at airports and the urgent need for improvement, the House of Representatives has said called on the Federal government to create a consolidated account, where the 25 per cent remittance by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) would be pooled, in a bid to have long term plan for the development of airports’ infrastructure.
Chairman of the Representatives Committee on Aviation, Mr Nnolim Nnaji, who led others on an oversight visit on tour of Lagos Airport, said long term plan was what is needed to save the facilities, adding that one of the reasons for infrastructure decay in that many projects are abandoned one new hand take over the helms of affairs.
He added that in order not continue to beat about the bush; he suggested that FAAN should now have a 10-year developmental plan based on the creation of the consolidated account, to avoid projects being stopped halfway when the Authority has new management.
According to him, there is a need to look at the projects as first, belonging to Nigeria and not just FAAN.
“Secondly, we believe FAAN needs funding like every other agencies, part of our plea to Federal government as a way of helping FAAN in the area of infrastructure is that the 25 per cent of remittance of FAAN to Federal government is if the government can find a way of creating a consolidated account where the money will be remitted to and create a 10-year developmental plan to enable FAAN to come out with a plan on ten years on how to have their infrastructure because it is not about yearly budget, it is also about creating a ten-year plan that can help them carry out their projects, projects that will live beyond Managing Directors and Directors, because the problems we are having is that MDs will come in and they want to create their projects but If we have a 10-year plan where the federal government will be involved through the Ministries of Finance and Budgets, we have a consolidated account so that whatever project that is coming will live beyond the management of FAAN, so you look at ten years.
“If you look at what is happening in the country today, the security system is bad on the roads and that is an opportunity to improve on the aviation industry because a lot of people are now looking at the airports. And you cannot talk of investments and businesses without good airports. The very first point of call is the airport for an investor, if we have a good airport, an investor would want to double his investment but if we have bad airports, they will look down on the country and go back with their money. I think the aspect of aviation infrastructure should be very critical, not just to the aviation Ministry or FAAN but to Nigeria. So, we as a committee, we would support FAAN in the area of infrastructure”
Speaking on the debt owed by Arik Air and Aero, Nnaji noted that though, not under the committee’s responsibilities but as stakeholders, the lawmakers will not allow FAAN to carry the burden alone, adding, “we are definitely going to pursue it, we also have people in the finance committee and in aviation, they will come together and see it as a huge burden on us and see how we can support FAAN.”