ABUJA   – The Minister of Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka, has said  that the Federal Government remains committed to completing all ongoing projects in the nation’s aviation agencies and parastatals.
Chidoka said this at a news briefing after the inauguration of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) Information and Communication (ICT) Centre in Abuja.
He said that all the agencies in the aviation sector had prioritised their works considering the fall in the oil price at the international market.
Chidoka said that all the agencies had also been directed to give priority attention to projects that were near completion while channeling the available meagre resources to paying those contractors.
“All the agencies have prioritised their works; oil price have gone down while the government resources are not in full pot.
“So, what we are doing is to prioritise, to make sure that all projects related to safety are given priority and all projects that are near stages of completion from 85 per cent to 100 per cent completion are completed.
“So, we are prioritising to make sure that we don’t just pay contractors half and half and everybody is at the same level. “What we are doing is to see the projects to completion.”
According to him, the ministry made sure that all the monies received last year were paid out to contractors whose projects were nearing completion.
He said that the ministry would inaugurate more projects in different agencies in the next two weeks, to ensure that Nigeria derived the benefit of the investments being made in the sector.
Chidoka said the major thrust of his policy had been the automation of public service.
He said this had become necessary because automation was the future of the country’s public sector and had the capacity to create transparency.
Chidoka commended the level of automation in NiMet and urged other agencies to adopt and implement it, to ensure that the benefit was passed on to the customers.
“The high cost of service as derived from aviation sector is principally because of the manual and labourious nature of work being done.
“We automate most of our processes and we give a clear vision with timelines on when agencies must automate their revenue collection and implement the cashless policy in the aviation sector.
“We don’t want people going to the tarmac collecting cash from aircraft; we want to see that full automation is implemented.”
Chidoka said he would make sure that the aviation sector achieved his vision of “One-Aviation”, where all processes of operation in the sector become integrated.
He said that he wanted an operation where all processes from the regulatory activities of aviation authorities, airline operations as well as the economic interpretation of those activities were seen in one single dashboard.