Nigeria’s airspace safe – Minister

Despite the recent accidents in the nation’s aviation industry, the Federal Government on Monday assured that Nigeria’s airspace is one of the safest in the world.

Speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja, the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, maintained that Nigeria’s airspace, according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) report is the 12th safest globally.

According to her, Nigeria scored 65 per cent, which is above the global average.

Describing the critics of the ongoing reforms in the aviation sector as ignorant, she said that security and safety in the sector cannot be achieved without adequate funding.

She claimed that the suspension of Dana Air operations, which followed last Thursday’s fatal Associated Airline crash in Lagos, was not a fire brigade response.

The minister claimed that the suspension was done in line with the law and policy of certification, which she said is a constant assessment of operators to ensure they are in compliance.

On criticism of the sector, she described such criticism to be from “drunk and drug addicts.”

She urged Nigerians to ignore such comments that have no bearing with reality.

Reacting to the allegations that the ministry under her is dwelling more on money making in the sector than issues of safety, she said: “I think it is ignorant to start with because you cannot have security and safety without funding it, it has to be funded. If you are talking of safety for instance you need to have the infrastructure that addresses that. If you are talking security you need to have the infrastructure that addresses that and all that must be sustained and must be maintained. And if you do not do that you are not just being sincere.”

“And then when you talk about the issue of renovation, the terminal itself is the first safety and security facility that any passenger comes across. And so in a plan you must start from A to Z. And in aviation it is often said that if you think safety and security is expensive, wait until accident happens and see how expensive it is.

Source: The Nation

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