By Tordue Salem
ABUJA — THE House of Representatives, has set up an inquiry into the incessant diversion of Nigeria-bound flights to neighbouring countries, as a result of decrepit landing equipment at the country’s airports.
Besides, the House wants to enact a legislation that would protect passengers who are victims of the agencies’ negligence of their responsibilities.
Agencies under the Green Chamber’s scrutiny and possible sanctions, are the Nigeria Aviation Management Agency, NAMA, and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.
Wale Raji (Lagos-APC)) Motion to probe the matter, after the House voted to suspend Order 8 Rule 4 & 7 of the House Rules. Mr. Raji, in his motion, called on the House to force the completion of the installation of landing equipment at airports, as he regretted that flights were being cancelled “due to poor landing equipment” at airports.
He lamented that even though over N7.8 billion was voted to upgrade landing equipment at Lagos, Abuja, Maiduguri Airports in the country, flights were still diverted to Ghana, Togo and elsewhere, with consequent economic losses to the country.
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“We are all aware of the embarrassing situation currently going on in the country. They suffer losses because of the situation. Govt needs to act immediately, to correct the anomaly. International business men are now being subjected to unnecessary delays,” he said.
According to him, “though the installation is ongoing at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, basic components are yet to be installed”, leading to economic woes and stress for passengers both local and International.
He urged the House to mandate its Committee on Aviation to collaborate with relevant agencies and other stakeholders to make sure other supporting equipment for category 3 are installed at the airports.
In his contribution to the motion, Deputy Minority Leader, Tobychukwu (PDP-Enugu) regretted that ” air passengers are daily exposed to unwarranted hazards, because someone is not able to do his job. The instruments are there, and we are talking of calibration”.
He recommended that “the people who are responsible for this, should simply go”.
He observed that passengers and pilots, were being exposed “to the guesswork of regulators of Airports”.
He stressed that the House should “Find out those responsible for the diversions and issue appropriate sanctions”.
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