Tuesday , 5 July 2022
Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation

Welcome back Senator Sirika, now roll those sleeves and get to it!!!

AVIATION social media sites and portals including Twitter and WhatsApp groups have been set agog with the reappointment of Senator Hadi Sirika as substantive Minister of Aviation, one of the best kept open secrets, the minute he made President Muhammad Buhari’s ministerial list.

Congratulations from both genuine and political emissaries, we are sure, have inundated the minister’s timeline as the jobbers have lined up again like vultures to pick off from where they left off, however since Sirika is experienced in this field of politics, it would be wise to state that the people are watching especially as there is a feeling that the second coming of any public official is not one with the intention to do any serious work.

Nigerianflightdeck however would like to believe to the contrary and have joined those sincerely welcoming the honourable minister back;to encourage him to be the best he can and do the best he can.

We will however,  be derelict in our duty as the fourth estate if we refuse to set certain agenda for the minister like we did when he was first appointed in 2015 in our write up: ‘Welcome Minister of State now Roll your sleeve and work!’

First as a responsible media organisation, we want to thank the Minister of Aviation for all the milestones he was able to achieve when he was appointed in 2015 till date.

We would not want to forget during the twilight of his tenure, the gale of projects commissioned, as he visited some geo-political zones including South West, South East, South South, North West, North Central, North East to commission various safety-critical, security-critical and passenger-centric projects

Before stepping down as Minister of State Aviation, he embarked on 157 projects in the industry and has, in its four years, completed 134 of those projects 100%

The remaining projects, 14% of the projects are above 50% complete while 13%  are below 50% complete giving an 80% delivery rate of the projects set about.

Of these completed projects, one cannot help but point out major milestones first of which was the shutdown and reconstruction of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport ( NAIA) runway which was shut down for six weeks from March 8 to April 19, 2017 but actually delivered April 17th two days before

Then there was also, for the first time ever, the certification of two of Nigeria’s major airports, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport ( MMIA) certified in September 18,  2017 and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport ( NAIA) November 10 barely two month apart and making the country the first to certify two airports in a year.

Senator Sirika can also be credited with the successful completion and operations of the new international terminals both in Port Harcourt, October 23 and Abuja December 20 among other major projects that were embarked on.

Kudos to the minister for what he did in putting Nigeria back in the limelight of the international committee, however, now it is time to please Nigerians who are yearning for better airports, better services, better security, qualified Nigerians who can be useful in various strata around the nation’s airports.

First off, it is important to look the minister in the eye squarely and tell him on the establishment of a national carrier, he has not done well. And although there are plans that he continues the project, it is important to do a comparative analysis on what happened.

We believe it is called a national carrier so it is important we do whatever unveiling  within this country and not unveil it on power points in far-away Europe and still not be able to convince the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) not to put it on hold.

The country indeed needs a national carrier apart from the image it would launder for the nation but to enable it take charge of its destiny when it comes to international avio-politics, something that is currently bedevilling our airlines that seek to fly our flag internationally.

What some Nigerians feel pained by is the fact that Ibom Air which was in no pipeline barely a year, kicked off and is  now offering seamless services. We do not need an instant success that would fail due to the challenges of the environment, Nigerians need to start a carrier like a mustard seed and grow it, unless it will be all talk and no action.

Then, we also believe the Minister and his team should remove focus from the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport Terminal being constructed by the Chinese and focus on the one constructed in Lagos for simple reasons, it’s about time.

There is no need to go into all the challenges that the airport currently face especially the negative press associated with it,  it is indeed a public relations nightmare from concessionaire’s to dilapidated facilities even to ill-mannered workers at the gateway, we feel however, if pressure is put to construct the new terminal and finish it , that would help airlines relocate, passengers get a new experience like in Abuja and Port Harcourt and give the airport authority time and since to truly tear down and reconstruct the old MMIA.

This move, we feel, can enable FAAN part ways with some of the leeching concessionaire’s that have no business being at the airport in the first place.

In three days, come August 24, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN) would shut down to Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu to perform reconstruction of the runway, Nigerianflightdeck expects the honourable Minister to give it the same attention given to NAIA.

Aviation is no walk in the park and it takes a lot of steel to face the challenges and ensure the airlines fly in and out safely without incident, it would take the minister and his team nothing to listen and act on the words of genuine Nigerians knowing that most of them travel out and expect same treatment globally to be replicated here, after all, aviation is global and not a Nigerian thing.

Nigerianflightdeck once again welcomes Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, now roll both sleeves and get cracking.

About NigerianFlightDeck

Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.

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