By Chinelo Obogo
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has promised to complete all outstanding projects on or before 2023 when a new administration will take over leadership. He also revealed that Nigeria has about 89 Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) arrangements with countries and while 15 others have indicated readiness to sign additional agreements with the country, 13 others are in the threshold of re-negotiation the existing agreements.
Speaking at the 25th annual conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) with the theme: ‘Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation,’ held in Lagos recently, Sirika who was represented by Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau-Nigeria (AIB-N).
Akin Olateru, said everything is in place to ensure that all ongoing projects are completed.
Some of the ongoing projects is construction of the new terminal at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), which commenced in 2013.
The $600 million; $500 million loan deal secured from China and the $100 million counterpart funding from the Federal Government, had commenced in 2013 with a completion period of 20 months. He assured that the ministry has a clear roadmap for the development of the sector in Nigeria and that it would ensure its growth to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through its policies and programmes.
In a bid to improve the operating environment for investors in the sector, Sirika said that the government ensured zero import duties on aircraft engine and spare parts, special foreign exchange window for the aviation sector, improved availability of aviation fuel, restructured the aviation agencies, improved safety and security.