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House of Reps to support aviation development with six new bills

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The House of Representatives has pledged support for the aviation development agenda, with the expedite passage of six new bills that are pending at the National Assembly.

The bills recently sent to the House by President Muhammadu Buhari, aim to review the extant provisions and reposition the major regulatory agencies and service providers in the sector. The bills include the Civil Aviation Bill 2019, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria Bill 2019, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency Establishment Bill 2019, and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Establishment Bill 2019, Nigerian Meteorological Agency Establishment Bill 2019 and the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau Establishment Bill 2019.

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Aviation, at a three-day oversight visit to various agencies in Lagos, said it would speed up the processes to give the industry a new lease of life. The Chairman of the committee, Nnolim Nnaji, during an inspection of facilities and equipment at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) headquarters in Lagos said the service provider remains a very critical agency that should be supported.He said; “Whatever we can do, both from the legislative point and otherwise, we will speed it up. We have a bill that was sent by Mr. President. Very soon we will call for the public hearing on it.”

The committee members commended NAMA for the upgrade of equipment and facilities for air navigation in the country’s airspace. They also urge other agencies in the industry to come together to move the industry forward.“We will do everything possible to make sure that NAMA become one of the best in Africa. During the budgetary allocations, we will make sure we push a lot to see how NAMA will gain some fund for projects that are uncompleted.

“It is highly commendable that we have such equipment on ground, but we also believe that with government’s supports, those facilities need to be upgraded. Other airports across the country need to follow suit; not just Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.“When budget implementation of 2020 will commence, those issues the NAMA Managing Director (MD) mentioned will be taken into consideration.  We are also looking at the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which we also believe we will pass. If we pass the IGR and the budget allocation, then they can do a lot of things.”

Earlier, the Managing Director of NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu had urged the committee to pass the bill and modification as required as well as its funding to be able to catch up with some of the areas NAMA needs more funding.The committee also met with the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and proceeded to inspect ongoing projects and infrastructure at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos yesterday.

Addressing the Committee, the MD of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, highlighted some of the achievements of the authority between 2013 till date. They include the certification of Murtala Muhammed Airport and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Lagos and Abuja, in that order, construction of a series of new terminals with ultra-modern facilities in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu. Also the remodeling of FAAN training school and subsequent certification as a training institute; the repair of runway and apron at MMIA; rehabilitation of runway at Abuja Airport, among others.


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