By Kingsley Unah
The Hon. Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday presented the 2024 budget to the 10th National Assembly joint committee on Aviation and Technology for defence.
Speaking at session, the Minister put the performance of the 2023 budget at 40% based on the funds released so far, and the 2024 budget for the entire Ministry and its Agencies at 63 Billion naira.
He highlighted some critical projects such as Abuja second runway, upgrade and rehabilitation of the old terminal of Lagos airport as vital projects that need urgent attention.
In his presentation, Keyamo listed five focus of his administration to include ensuring strict compliance with safety regulations and continuous upward movement of Nigeria’s rating by ICAO support for the growth and sustenance of local airline businesses whilst holding them to the highest international standards in the aviation industry; infrastructure upgrade, human capacity development and optimization of revenue generation for the Federal Government.
To compliment the budget estimated figure, Keyamo said, an extra 81billion Naira will be needed for the completion of the 2nd runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, saying it is disaster in wait to operate only one runway for a capital city like Abuja.
Speaking further, Festus appealed to the 10th National Assembly joint committee to approve the procurement of consultancy for the design of a Master plan for major airports in Nigeria, stating the need to give more attention to the area of safety with the procurement of equipment.
He told the committee that Mr. President has graciously approved the purchase of screening machines for the five international airports in Nigeria.
On the issue of airport concession, the Minister said, he has taken into consideration the concerns of the 9th Assembly as regard the non-transparent manner it was conducted but affirmed that concession is the way to go for the 5 international airports in Nigeria.
The Minister told the committee that he has written a memo to Mr. President for a quality concession process for the Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu airport.