Aviation ministry to appeal for special intervention fund – Minister

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
May 26th, 2014
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imageThe Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr Samuel Ortom, on Monday, said the ministry planned to appeal to the Federal Government for special intervention fund to clear some outstanding debts.

Ortom made the disclosure while presenting the summary of the 2013 appropriation to the Senate Committee on Aviation during its oversight visit to the ministry in Abuja.

He said the ministry had incurred some outstanding debts in its three phases of contracts awarded so far in the past years.

Ortom said in order to come up with strategy of debts repayment, the Aviation and Finance Ministry were setting up an inter-ministerial committee to review the budget to offset debts.

The supervising minister said N42. 2 billion was appropriated to the aviation ministry in 2013, adding that only N25.7 billion was actually released to the ministry, representing about 61per cent.

He added that a statement of projects performance captured from 2011 to May 2014 showed that the ministry awarded contracts in phase one of the aviation roadmap worth N10.1 billion.

The contracts awarded under phase two were worth N57.7 and N63.1 billion contratcs were awarded under phase three, he said.

The supervising minister said that the total contracts awarded so far amounted to N217.5 billion and over N100 billion was still outstanding.

“We will see where we can at least for now suspend some of the projects that are yet to take off so that we can put the figures down and work toward finishing the ongoing projects.

“We are working on establishing airports development levy with international best practice and with the support of the Senate and House of Representatives.

“We are also working to see where we can have special intervention funds to be able to clear some of the outstanding debts.’’

Ortom said 14 out of the 17 projects were completed, while the remaining three were ongoing, while 188 projects in phase two were at various stages of completion.

He added that “by the time the senate committee, aviation ministry and the Ministry of Finance and other relevant agencies put heads together, we will find a way out because there is a roadmap and we have no other choice than to compete this roadmap. I assure you these projects will be

completed.’’

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, said the committee had only knowledge of phase one and two remodeling projects carried out by the ministry.

Uzodinma said the phase three projects were new to the committee, adding that “we are just hearing it for the first time.’’

He requested for copies of approval for the approved projects so far.

Uzodinma said the committee had not received any presentation on the 500 billion-dollar loan from the Chinese government to remodel the Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt international airports.

“We have not seen the design and we don’t even know the size of the airports and we don’t know if work has started.

“If the phase three project has not gone far, please stop it,’’ he added. (NAN)


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