Aviation Legislators Want Government To Assist FAAN On Chinese Loan
The Chairman of Senate Committee On Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi has called on the federal government to assist the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in the payment of loan owed China Civil Aviation Construction Company in charge of the Lagos new airports terminal construction.
Speaking in an interview, on the sidelines of the 25th Annual Conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos under the theme. Aviation Industry In Nigeria: Management, Policy & Regulation, Senator Adeyemi noted that delay in payment of the loan was behind its abandonment.
“For us, we think there is need for FAAN and the federal government to make sure that all obstacles disrupting the takeoff of this terminal building are taken off so that Nigerians can have the benefit of the multi-billions naira that has been expended here. I do not think that anyone will be able to defend this. The project has been completed. This must not be allowed to be abandoned. We have had projects of similar types in this country that have been abandoned. If care is not taken, we will see that some of the premises here are becoming bushy, but that is not to say the airport is not well-kept. The fact that this terminal is not put to use.
We want to call on the federal government to give us all the assurances that are necessary. Looking at the challenges confronting the aviation industry today, in terms of Covid-19, which makes it difficult for the sector to meet its needs, there is need for the federal government to give the assistance that is necessary,” he said.
Adeyemi added that “the project itself was awarded by the federal government. So, the federal government itself should come to the aid of FAAN so that we can take over this building. We don’t want to come back here the next time and still see this building in this shape. It will be painful for us. Even though, we are on recess now, we will continue to mount the pressure that is needed to ensure that the federal government gives the assistance that is needed. What is needed to take over this building? I don’t think it’s beyond what the federal government should pay. FAAN should be able to pay if not for depression confronting the industry. “
“So, it will be difficult for FAAN to meet the payment. It should be the federal government that will pay so that Nigerians can start to enjoy the facility. Also, this is a facility that will further improve the image of Nigeria. Whenever people are visiting your country, what they will first see is the building and it will create an impression of the nation to them. So, we will continue to mount pressure on the government to do the needful. If possible, we will put it in writing so that the ministry of finance can be aware that we came here and what we have seen demands the attention of the federal government to come to the aid of FAAN so that this place can be opened.”
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji in his interview, said: “In addition, the essence of constructing this terminal is to support the old terminal, but because it is not put in use, it is affecting the old terminal.
To lay credence to what my colleague has just said, I think the federal government and FAAN should do something about this terminal so that it will improve the image of the country, create customer comfort. It is also important that the federal government does something about the Chinese loan so that this can facilitate the opening of the terminal. There is need for this terminal to be opened so that you can use it to service the nation. Whether the government is supporting in paying back the loan, it is still the responsibility of FAAN to pay back the government the money. So, it is important for this place to be opened so that it can be put to use.”
On the avio bridges, he said: “I think according to the plan, there are supposed to be eight avio bridges, but only four can be used at the moment because the other four can’t be assessed for now. But something has to be done so that the eight can be put to use’