ABUJA—The Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka, yesterday, declared that the ministry will pay more attention to the security and safety of the airports and passengers rather than remodeling of airports as his predecessor did.
Chidoka stated this while inspecting on-going projects at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
He, however, expressed regret that on-going construction work at the airport was disrupting passenger operations.
He further stated that in the next four to six months, the new terminal would be ready and this would drastically reduce the suffering that passengers are going through.
He urged Nigerians, who would pass through the airport, to be patient because of ongoing rehabilitation, adding that there was bound to be traffic.
According to Chidoka: “We expect that Nigerians should please appreciate and understand our challenges at this time, but we are going to open up more communication channels and signages to show people what is about to happen.”
FAA Category One status
Commenting on the FAA Category One Status, he said it provides for an opportunity to review the whole safety of the nation’s airport operations.
Said he: “But more importantly, we are making sure that there is an alignment between safety in the air and the security of passengers and the terminal buildings and of course the passengers’ comfort.”
Chidoka continued: “So with that in mind, we are having a total review of our security system in all the airports and I have ordered them to make sure that they meet the global best practices.”
Chidoka further stated that the ministry wants to make the passengers to travel in a more convenient manner.
“We don’t want to compromise the security of the airport. Our major strategy is to begin to look at the safety component of our work. While we want to make the passengers to travel in a more convenient manner, we don’t want to compromise the security of the airport.”
Commenting on measures the Ministry had put in place to prevent persons infected with the deadly Ebola Virus Disease from entering the country he said: “Although the Ministry of Health was taking the lead in the fight against the sub-regional epidemic, we are providing the necessary infrastructure to make sure that what happened with the index case of Mr Sawyer coming into Nigeria does not repeat itself and more importantly using the testing technique as the ministry of health has ordered to ensure that it does not spread across the country”.