By Ehi Ekhator
The embattled Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, yesterday, told the Senate Committee on Aviation that the sector was in collapse before she was appointed the minister. She added that after her assumption, she restructured the sector to meet the modern standards.
She revealed this when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation. She said that the crashed Associated Airlines was still under investigation and that a black-box laboratory centre has been established in the country.
She said that instead of crucifying her for the challenges she is facing in the sector, she should be commended as her intervention helped give the aviation sector a new look to meet modern standard.
According to her, the aviation sector was in a collapse position when she took office in July 2011. her words ” The sector was dilapidated, unmanned and highly unprofessional” when she took a facility tour on assumption of office in July, 2011.
Oduah opined that the airports were outdated compare to the outside worLd, almost not serviceable, unavailable safety and insecurity before she assume office as the minister.
Stella Oduah was summonsed by the Committee on aviation to explain why there is constant air accident in the aviation sector as well as her involvement in the controversial bulletproof cars she bought at the value of N255 million
Though she stylishly avoided the question concerning the bulletproof cars, she played a video tape of the crashed Associated Airline before the Committee, and seek understanding, saying the final investigation will reveal the problem causing the air crash.
According to her, what was operating then was an unsafe working condition for airport staff, especially those of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.
“There were several abandoned control towers all over the nation. We had 154 abandoned control projects all over. There were also several runways without runway lighting.
“There were massive leakages of agencies’ revenue due to manipulation of manual revenue collection process.
“There was also further loss of revenue due to several lopsided so-called ‘concession’ agreements skewed against the government and public interests”, she added.