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Reps query poor work in Jos Airport after gulping N406 million

By Adamu Abuh (Abuja) and Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt)   |   03 February 2017   |   3:27 am

The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika

Committee pledges to fast track second phase of Amnesty Programme

The House of Representatives has queried the ministry of aviation over alleged poor rehabilitation work done at the Jos Airport terminal building after gulping N406 million.

The Nkiruka Onyejiocha-led Committee on Aviation said it was taken aback when it discovered that in spite the release of the money, the details of the level of execution of the project were no where to be seen in the document at the disposal of the lawmakers.

The Director of Finance and Administration (DFA), Mr. Akin Ijiwole, who accompanied the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika during the 2017 budget defence session with the lawmakers explained that he thought such details were unnecessary since there was no monetary release for the project worth N700 million in the 2016 budget.

Onyejiocha remarked that such excuses could not stand since there was the need to ascertain basic details relating to performance of projects and money so far released to enable the committee how much to appropriate for projects in the 2017 budget.

Onyejiocha, who suspended deliberations on the budgetary defence, thereby directed the DFA to make the details of performance of projects available to the committee within 48 hours.

Sirika, who assured that the national carrier would take off this year, remarked that there was no going back on the plan to temporarily close the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport from March 8 to April 19 to enable rehabilitation work be done on the runway.

He said intending travelers should exercise no fear of insecurity for their lives and properties as an assistant inspector general of police, in conjunction with other security personnel would mount a 24-hour surveillance on the Abuja -Kaduna Expressway to keep commuters’ safe.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Niger Delta has promised to fast track the implementation of the second phase of the Federal Government Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta region.

This assurance was given yesterday at Okochiri Town in Okirika Council Area of Rivers State, when the House Committee visited an ex-agitator, Mr. Ateke Tom, on a fact finding mission to the region over controversies in the payment of beneficiaries’ stipends.

Leader of the team, member representing Nassarawa Federal Constituency, Mr. Nassir Ali Ahmed, said the committee would prevail on the Federal Government to ensure that it commenced the second phase of the programme, which includes the rehabilitation and integration of the ex-agitators.

Ahmed noted that the programme was successful considering the relative peace in the region, hence the need to continue it.He noted that the essence of the mission was to acquaint themselves with developments in the programme and to resolve issues regarding payment of stipends in Ateke’s camp.

The Special Assistant to the President on Amnesty Programme, General Paul Boroh (retd) said that the second phase of the programme would include engaging the beneficiaries in agricultural activities.

Boroh said the idea was in line with the ongoing diversification of the economy by the Buhari administration.He disclosed that the ex-militants would be trained in agro allied, fishery, poultry and other areas that would benefit the society and would be empowered to be self-reliant.Ateke’s promised that he would continue to support the government to ensure that peace is sustained in the Niger Delta.




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