Sirika Commissions N2.2b General Aviation And Cargo Terminals In Lagos.
By Helen Udoh,Outlook Media Abuja.
• Says President Buhari Has Changed the face of Aviation in Nigeria.
Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika on Monday commissioned the expanded first phase of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) and the cargo terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos. The projects are worth N2,2 billion.
According to Sirika, the GAT expansion, which was carried out by Messrs Glovesly Pro-Project Limited, would increase the capacity of the terminal from 254 to 1,054.
The facility also comes with the complements of three standard departure halls, three VIP Lounges, two protocol lounges, three 3 lifts, four toilets, five office spaces and five staircases and others.
He explained that the projects were conceived to address the decades-long limited capacity challenge of the terminal and cargo facilities in the industry.
On the Cargo Terminal, the Minister said it was part of the implementation of the Aviation Roadmap and that there were seven of them to be commissioned.
He expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done at the terminal and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the development of the sector during his tenure.
He also commended the media for the support the industry has enjoyed since he assumed office as Minister of Aviation but cautioned them against being used by vested interests to undermine the unprecedented achievements recorded by the Buhari administration in the aviation sector.
The Minister also told journalists in Lagos that the re-organisation in the agencies was ongoing and would continue until May 29, 2023.
Sirika stated this during the commissioning of the N2.2 billion expansion of the first phase of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
Speaking with journalists, Sirika insisted that the reorganisation in the agencies received the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that the government was a continuum, irrespective of the time of change of the CEOs.
But, speaking with journalists, Sirika said those who were removed have had their time.
He said: “The reorganisation approved by Mr. President is an ongoing process and it will continue to go on. There is nothing under the carpet if it is being approved by Mr. President. So, government is continuum; they had their timeline, tenure to come in and time to go. We all have our time to go.
“This is governance and it is a serious business. Whatever action or inaction you are taking, you are taking it on behalf of over 200 million people. There has been a new Accountant General of the Federation, there has been a new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board, North East Development Commission (NEDC) and so many others. So, why me? Why is aviation the focus? What is the intention? What do you want to achieve? Why me?”
Sirika asserted that the outgoing administration had improved the sector more than it met it, stressing that history would judge it right.
According to him, the government had doubled the number of airlines, airports and quadrupled the number of passengers in the last eight years.
He explained that the seriousness attached to the sector by the government, made the industry the second in the world to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic after Colombia.
“President Buhari has done extremely well in civil aviation. I don’t care when you criticise me. Whether you did the criticism objectively or not. If you do it, I am humble enough to look through. If you are wrong, I look at it and shine and if you are right, then, I shine again,” he said.