Agency denies knowledge of Wasimi airport as lawmakers probe N2b grant
The Senate has begun investigation into a N2 billion presidential grant for a cargo airport at Wasimi in Ogun State, despite declaration that no record of the airport exists with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Senate Committee on Aviation at a meeting with the NCAA Director General, Captain Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, expressed disappointment that an airport for which Mr. President had released N2 billion could be described as non-existent by the aviation agency.
Nuhu said he was not aware of approval for construction of the cargo airport in Wasimi. “The NCAA is aware of approval for Sagamu Airport, not Wasimi Airport.”
The DG maintained his stance even when Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah read a memo from Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Federal Government’s approval for a grant of N2billion for the Wasimi Airport.
Senators broke into serious arguments as Nuhu insisted that NCAA had no records of the Wasimi Airport.
The senator representing Ogun West, Tolu Odebiyi, who, incidentally, was chief of staff to the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, however, offered clarification as he said the proposed airport in Wasimi was for passengers, not cargo.
“The NCAA was part and parcel of the project and necessary approvals were sought and given for Wasimi. It was not possible to put the agency in the dark about the project,” Odebiyi said.
Olamilekan Adeola, representing Lagos West, and Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, faulted the explanation given by Odebiyi.
“The documents given to us are for cargo airport in Sagamu. We don’t have any approval for passenger airport for Wasimi.
“Yes, Minister of Aviation is in the picture, but the Senate committee and NCAA aren’t aware, we don’t have the documents. We have listened to you (NCAA) and you have established that you have record for Sagamu Airport, not passenger airport at Wasimi.”
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