MINISTER of State (Aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika has expressed plans to relocate to Lagos so that he can tackle headlong some of the challenges currently bedeviling the Murtala Muhammed Airport.
Sirika who made this known yesterday after checking out the Airport and dispelling rumours of an earthquake at MMIA owing to vibrations noticed there said that come April 19 after the reopening of the Nnamdi Azikiwe international Airport, he would relocate to ensure that some of the issues at the MMA are fixed.
“ We have rolled out plans of what we will do in this industry and they are in phases and of course the airport will continue to run while we are rolling out our plans. It is my intention, after I open Abuja come April 19, to move to the MMA to ensure that all those issues at the airport are fixed and the airport is back to normal.”
He however explained that the only way to ensure a total overhaul was through concession of the airports as government does not have enough in terms of funding to pitch aviation against critical sectors like education, healthcare.
“ The ultimate end and solution to all these is the concession of the airports, I have maintained this, it is the only solution, I don’t know any other way which we can do it because government no longer has the resources to invest in these airports.”
“There are entrepreneurs, there are high net worth people, there are knowledgeable people whose business is to be in the promotion, construction, selling of airport services around the world, it is what they know best how to do and make money out of it but because the APC government is social democratic, we are not selling our assets, we are going to concession them so that after concession; it will come back to the people, the assets will be returned of which the people can decide to re-concession if they like at a better deal with better service delivery.”
“We are doing this because government is tending to education, healthcare, roads etc and it will be very difficult to find money and no matter how much you do it people who have expertise on concession will always do it better. Qatar is the richest country in the world and they concessioned their airport, Saudi Arabia too is rich and they have concessioned their airport, Venezuela, America, China and Singapore they have concessioned airports I can’t see why Nigeria with dwindling fortunes cannot go down that rout,” Sirika Concluded.