The former Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr Samuel Ortom, announced this when he handed over to Mr Osita Chidoka, the new Minister of Aviation in Abuja.
He said the payments, made between February and July, had therefore reduced the ministry’s indebtedness to N153 billion.
“When I came here, it became necessary to constitute a committee to verify the entire commitments we have. We received an interim report that gave us the figure of N174 billion commitments.
“The committee’s work is still going on. We have not concluded work as at today.’’
Ortom called on the members of staff of the ministry to give the new minister the necessary support.
He thanked Mr President for giving him the opportunity to learn and contribute to development in the aviationindustry.
“I thank President Jonathan for appointing Mr Chidoka as Aviation minister. It is like putting the right peg in the right hole.’’
Ortom described Chidoka as a man who is committed and can be relied upon in any assignment given to him.
“I believe that he will take the aviation industry forward to the next level. I believe that in a short time, the issues of national carrier will become a thing of the past.
“I want to assure you of my availability at any time you need to clarify any issue that affects my short stay in the ministry’’, Ortom said.
On his part, Chidoka said he would continue the good work of his processor with a view to completing ongoing projects.
Chidoka also said in the drive to improve on the ongoing projects, he would study the situation and take things slowly and step by step towards achieving national aspirations in aviation sector.
“I am committed to working with the professionals in the ministry and will also work with the system.
“The safety of our airspace and security of our aviation infrastructure will remain cardinal objectives for me going forward’’, Chidoka said.
He commended Ortom and the former minister of aviation for their good works in the ministry.
“I assure you I will read the hand over notes and I will get back to you if I need any clarification’’, he said. (NAN)