FG needs two years to acquire aircraft for airlines
According to a local newspaper, it will possibly take up to two years before the Federal Government can actually allocate new aircraft to the domestic carriers. The main hurdle to be cleared for the acquisition of the thirty aircraft is a financial one: the authorities still have to work out a way to obtain funding for the purchase of a fleet of aircraft. The plan of the Minister of Aviation to acquire thirty aircraft has been criticised as misplaced, and the stakeholders in the industry are complaining that they are not involved in the decision-making process.
All in all, it appears that the Minister of Aviation is not very effective in implementing her policies:
- Of the eleven domestic airports that would be renovated in 2012 none has been finished, and there are complaints about the low quality of the jobs being done.
- The new GA Terminal in Lagos was opened in a hurry. The terminal is far from functional and poorly constructed. Furthermore, the legal issues with the owners of MMA Terminal 2 are not yet resolved.
- There are unanswered questions about the financing of the renovation and building of airport terminals.
- The emergency runway lights installed at Lagos Airport can only be used by departing flights, and the threshold lights are often blasted away by aircraft.
- The Minister promised she would tackle the price disparity by taking action against British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, but after the initial fuss, the whole case has gone quiet.
- She announced that she would revise the BASA agreements with several countries, but nothing seems to have happened.
- A new national carrier was supposed to start services before 2013, but this promise was not fulfilled either.
- The Aerotropolis project and an expensive ‘road-show’ to the USA, Canada and China did not yield any visible results.
- The Minister of Aviation was accused by politicians of denying foreign airlines access to Kano.
Now, it would be wrong to judge the tenure of this Minister of Aviation as a failure. But, most of her initiatives are surrounded by controversies, and she does not appear to be very effective in achieving her own goals. Of course, she is acting in a difficult political context, but acting for the sake of acting is not enough for sound policy making. And given the current state of affairs, her media advisors and officials should be cautious with writing self-congratulatory pieces (NAMA and FAAN) or with spreading conspiracy theories as an excuse.
We have uncovered an advanced plot by a well-known hireling to blackmail, smear and tarnish the image and reputation of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah with the sole aim of distracting her from consolidating the gains already recorded in the transformation of the Aviation sector in line with the Transformation Agenda of the Federal government.