Aviation Minister threatens to cancel contracts in aviation agencies, to deliberate on NAMA Budget

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo has threatened to cancel some of the contracts in the aviation industry, especially that of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

The minister also lamented that no fewer than 100 airlines have collapsed in the last 20 to 25 years in the Nigerian aviation industry and expressed worries at the spate of deaths.

Keyamo stated these on Saturday at the Aviation Industry Stakeholders’ Forum, held in Lagos.

At the forum, all the airlines, represented by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), International Air Transport Association (IATA), ground handling companies, catering services and unions were represented.

NAMA’s obsolete contracts

Keyamo especially said that NAMA entered into some obsolete and needless contracts with foreign companies at the detriment of the industry and the country at large.

He threatened that some of those contracts would be revoked very soon by the government.

Also, he specified that the ministry would sit together with the management of NAMA on the 2024 budget proposal to the national assembly, saying that their projects must be critically scrutinised to prevent a repeat of the past.

  • He said: “We need to know what NAMA is buying; the projects they are embarking upon. We won’t enter into obsolete projects again in this industry. When I leave here, you people can continue whatever you are doing.
  • “We will sit down on the NAMA budget. We need to know whatever we are buying in the 2024 budget.”

Riot Act to CEOs

Besides, Keyamo threatened to sack any of the agencies’ Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) who may not fall in line with the Key Performance Indexes (KPIs) of the government.

Keyamo explained that he had signed a Key Performance Index (KPI) bond with President Bola Tinubu, alongside other ministers of the federation, stressing 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.

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.

  • He added: “I took away a lot of inputs from stakeholders; contributions from those who have 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 also said that the government was taking a concrete decision on the Nigeria Air project, saying that the file was on the table of Tinubu.

100 airline deaths in 25yrs

Besides, Keyamo decried the continuous death of indigenous airlines, promising that the government would henceforth support the carriers.

He pointed out that at least 100 airlines had collapsed in the last 20 to 25 years in the country, saying this was worrisome.

He, however, said that the Federal Government would help the operators to grow, but the airlines, too, must be ready to show seriousness about their operations.

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