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Aviation ministry spends N4.2bn in 5 months —Minister

Minister of State for Aviation, Captain Hadi Siriki has revealed that despite low funds release to the ministry in the 2016 appropriation year at the total of 43 percent, performance has reached 65 percent.

Siriki disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja while receiving a delegation from Senate Committee on Aviation led by Senator Adamu Aleiro who were on oversight function in the ministry.

The Minister stated that, the total appropriation for the ministry for 2016 was N19, 858,571,749.00, the total amount released is N8, 457,010,646.86 while the amount spend so far is N4, 290,948,284.23 with the balance of N4,166,062,362.63 remaining, adding that, the balance of the appropriation yet to receive is N11, 401,561,102.14.

He observed that the capital budget implementation of his ministry is focused on the completion of on-going projects in the major international airports while key steps have been taken to establish a national carrier.

According Siriki, “you agree with me from the above budget performance that one of our major constraints has been funding, which is largely due to dwindling resources of government. This explains why the sector is putting arrangements in place for the adoption of public private partnership (PPP) in funding its projects to lessen burdening of funding on government”

He called on the Senate to fast track laws that will give room for expansion in the industry, stating that, aviation is pivotal to the growth of key economic sectors including tourism, trade and commerce.

In his response, the Senate Committee Chairman on Aviation, Sen. Adamu Aleiro expressed satisfaction on the level of performance of the budget by the ministry.

He also said the Committee has thrown their weight behind the planned concession of the country’s major airports in order to bring in expertise in the sector and promise to support the project.

Aleiro however queried that, most agencies under the ministry are over staffed, adding that, “this is not good for developing country like Nigeria.”