The Good Governance Watch Initiative (GGWI) has hailed the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, over his decision to relocate the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to Lagos.
The group said not only is the move apt and in the best interest of the country, but it added that it is logical considering that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport remains the busiest in the country.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday in Abuja, Dr. Ikechukwu Cecilia, the group’s convener added that Keyamo has sustained his remarkable turnaround of the aviation sector with brilliant reforms and policies.
While calling on Nigerians to continue to support the minister, she said that the Federal Government has shown a genuine desire to address the myriad of economic challenges in the country.
“The case of FAAN brings to the fore years of irrational decisions by the former administration without considering the economic implications of their actions. Relocating FAAN from Lagos, Nigeria’s operational hub of air traffic at the time, was ill-conceived,” Cecilia said.
“It didn’t make sense for the operational headquarters to be outside, where most of its activities are domiciled. We know that Lagos is the hub of aviation activities in the country. FAAN is a service organisation statutorily charged with managing all Commercial Airports in Nigeria and providing service to passenger and cargo airlines.
“This is also on the heels of the fact that Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport remained the busiest airport in Nigeria for international and domestic travellers, which has been the hub of commercial activities in the country. It, therefore, does not make sense that the agency responsible for managing our airports operates outside Lagos for any reason.
“The decision to relocate FAAN from Lagos was a misnomer that encouraged waste of the country’s scarce resources, as relocating to Abuja affected the agency’s operational efficiency.
“It is also on record that FAAN operates from makeshift office spaces in Abuja. At the same time, its former headquarters in Lagos is left to rot due to non-usage. This does not make economic sense. It was indeed for political reasons and not economic reasons.
“The Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development has taken a bold step in reforming the aviation sector in Nigeria through this decision. The minister displayed leadership foresight.
“He should be commended for this initiative, and other ministers should take a cue from him in thinking critically on how to re-position their ministries through policies that would reduce waste and entrench a regime of transparency and accountability. “