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‘I’d Rather Sack You Than Lose My Job’: Minister Keyamo Reads the Riot Act To CEOs of Aviation Agencies

He directed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority to provide daily reports of flight delays across all airports in the country.

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), on Ssturday read the riot act to the aviation agencies, vowing to review subsisting contracts in the sector and cancel obsolete ones.
Keyamo also threatened to sack the heads of aviation agencies who may not meet up with the Key Performance Index (KPI) of the government.
The minister also said he would rather sack chief executives of the aviation agencies under his ministry than lose his own job.
Keyamo also directed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to provide daily reports of flight delays across all airports in the country.
He spoke in Lagos at the one-day stakeholders’ meeting, the first to be held since he assumed office.
According to him, some of the contracts for the installation of safety and navigational equipment entered into by some of the agencies, especially the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) were obsolete, and wondered how the country signed and continued with such agreements.
Keyamo further stated that he had signed a performance bond with President Bola Tinubu, alongside other ministers of the federation, revealing that he was under obligation to perform.
He said: “We had a three-day retreat with Mr. President, all the ministers. At the end of the day, we signed a performance bond. I also signed my performance bond yesterday (Friday). So, if you don’t want me to get sacked in the next few months, you need to support me.
“On this side, it is either I get sacked or they get sacked. So, it is a race to who will survive. That’s what I have told all my CEOs, somebody must die first, but before I die, I will take you down.”
Kayamo explained that the purpose of the forum was to receive inputs from all stakeholders in the sector.
“Your input will add value to the road map/focus area that the industry will prioritise to make our aviation sector world-class and meet the aspirations of Nigerians and all aviation stakeholders. We should desist from game blame and focus on solving the problems in the industry.
“As you are aware, Mr. President has unveiled his economic plan. The three-year economic revival plan that emerged from his inaugural Federal Executive Council meeting is anchored in an eight-point focus area targeted at addressing Nigeria’s socio-economic challenges.
“It seeks to move away from the frenzied borrowing of the last government, check the unacceptably high jobless rate, achieve economic growth, prosperity for all, and end poverty. This, we as an industry, will factor into our own focus areas for the development of the industry and in turn the economic development of our nation.”
Keyamo also highlighted activities under his ministry since his appointment.
He said, “You will recall that following my appointment by Mr. President, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I had gone on inspection of the Nigeria Airports, that is, Lagos and Abuja.
“I set up a task force for the relocation of foreign airlines from the old international terminal to the new terminal following the state of disrepair of the old terminal which does not speak well about Nigeria as a people.
“The task force has since submitted their report. We are looking at their recommendations for possible action. We will overhaul this terminal to further boost the revenue drive of our airports.
“I equally, formally received the land for the construction of the 2nd runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja from the Jiwa Community. This is a historic event and a dream come through, which Nigerians have looked up to for the past two decades.
You can rest assured that the benefits of the second runway will provide a substantial economic advantage to the nation.
“I have also received briefs from some of the agencies under the ministry and the unions in the aviation industry. I have taken note of the concerns raised. After this engagement, we shall have a management retreat where we will further distill your inputs as stakeholders to move the aviation industry forward.”
 Keyamo also said that the government was taking a concrete decision on the Nigeria Air project, saying that the file was on President Tinubu’s table.
 He maintained that their inputs would add value to the roadmap and focus of the industry, while also enabling it to prioritise activities in the sector.
“I took away a lot of inputs from stakeholders; contributions from those who have an interest in the industry and I am more informed. We are going to table a lot of these issues in Warri retreat, starting from Thursday next week, and see how we can take all of these into major decisions,” the minister said.
He, however, lamented the short life span of Nigerian carriers and promised that the federal government would henceforth support the airlines.
Keyamo said at least 100 airlines had collapsed in the last 20 to 25 years in the country, and described it as worrisome.
He, however, said that the federal government would help the operators to grow, stressing that the airlines must be ready to show seriousness in their operations.
Keyamo also directed the NCAA to provide daily reports of flight delays across all airports in the country on a daily basis.
The minister, who said he was tired of getting complaints on flight delays from passengers, said the daily report of delays must be made available to the Nigerian public.

This he said would help in educating the passengers on the issue of flight delays.

Chinedu Eze

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