From Suleiman Idris, Lagos.
The global aviation regulatory body, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has acknowledge the infrastructural upgrade at Nigerian airports, and said such expansion and remodelling are a prerequisite to upsurge in passenger traffic.
Meanwhile, a group of workers in the industry has asked the senate committee on aviation to seek further clarification in order to appreciate the purported debts of N174 billion owe contractors by the aviation ministry.
Nigerian born ICAO president Dr. Bernard Aliu said development in the country’s aviation sector are require to prepare the numerous airports for the increase in air traffic.
An estimated record of between 15 and 16 million passenger are projected to pass through aerodromes by the end of 2014 and continues to increase as the country’s rebased economy attracts more foreigners and Nigerians travel within and outside the country.
Dr. Aliu reiterated every member state of ICAO must have to improve its airports for the expected growth in air traffic, adding that the growth is a significant contribution to the economic and social development of any country.
He said “The growth is positive thing because it ensures the contribution to economic and social development, but it is also a challenge. The implication is that you need more infrastructures for airport operations, for air traffic management in order to accommodate that capacity. So every member state is supposed to invest in order to accommodate the traffic growth.”
Coordinator of Congress of Aviation Unions and Aviation Professionals Association, Sheri Kyari told journalists that the volumes of work going on is expected to gulp huge amount of money.
Kyari said the projects are visible and can be identified while the debts is aligned to each project.
He advised the federal government not to make it an excuse to abandon the projects as the facilities would be worse than they were before the new effort to overhaul them.
“ the debt is huge but it is relatively less than the debts incurred by government in projects in other sectors that are far less than what is being done in the aviation sector.
“We are talking about 14 perishable cargo terminals where agriculture produce will be processed and exported overseas by our farmers. Two terminals at the old General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in Lagos have been completed,” he told reporters.