Power failure in Nigerian airports will be history by 2014- Minister

Stella Oduah

The aviation minister said the aviation industry will provide jobs for two million Nigerians.

The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, on Thursday at the 2013 ministerial platform said that power failure in airports will be a history by mid 2014.

She said the aviation industry will provides two million direct employments following the emergence of aerotropolis projects.

Aerotropolis is a plan where an economy is centered around an existing airport.

“The aerotropolis airport city projects we are working on will create two million direct employments to Nigerians,” Ms. Oduah said.

The aerotropolis development she said are in four locations: Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano.

She said Abuja and Lagos will have a mix of agro processing, manufacturing, construction, IT, shopping and Conference/ Hospitality while Kano will focus primarily on perishable goods, agro processing and storage of food since it is close to the food baskets. Ms. Oduah said Port Harcourt will be used mainly for manufacturing and oil servicing and also providing an opportunity for conferencing and hotel facilities.

Ms. Oduah assured that the Nigerian airspace is safe for passenger travels.

“I want to assure you that our airports and air environment is very safe; our airspace is 150 per cent safe,” she said.

She said various agencies have been able to minimize communication between the pilots and the towers through an automated system where every flight is totally automated and monitored to ensure that they only go to places they indicated they will be going to.

As regards passenger’s rights, Ms. Oduah said that the sector is working on a passenger bill of rights aimed at protecting the interest of air passengers.

“It simply tells you that you must be respected because it is your money,” she said.

Dana crash

Ms. Oduah said that Dana has paid about 60 per cent of its debts. She said the company is currently facing issues of multiple claims and until it is clarified, it will be difficult to settle these claims. She also stated that the ministry has given Dana till December to round up its compensation payments or face sanction from the aviation ministry.

“On the Dana compensation, there have been cases of multiple claims; we would continue to clarify until we ascertain who exactly is next of kin or who should collect compensations for these victims but Dana has till December to clear all these, if not we’ll have to sanction them,” she said.

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