Again, aviation minister, Oduah, to splash N750m on vehicles

. Re-imposes N150m monthly ‘tax’ on NCAA
The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, will splash at least another N750 milllion on vehichles this year, even as the N225 million bulletproof car scandal is yet to die down.
This is just as the aviation ministry resumed the collection of N150m monthly from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
According to the minsitry’s 2014 budget proposals obtained by National Mirror, Oduah intends to spend N250m on eight operational vehicles for the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, and another N500m to buy some trucks for the agency. Also, the budget proposal indicated that the ministry would also spend N137m on trips in 2014.
The ministry also intends to spend another N100m on consultants for the controversial Aerotropolis, the city-airports, she claims Nigeria desperately requires in order to be rated high in the comity of nations.
She has also proposed to spend another N20m on other types of consultancies and another N425m on consultancy of institutional reforms, legal services and commercial.
General consulting and professional services for the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, would gulp over N8m.
On airport internal access roads, Oduah would spend about N200m and another N100m on Bilateral Air Services Agreements, BASAs while the sum of N100m would be spent on security gateways on express roads.
The budget proposal also shows that Oduah would spend N100m on airport toll gates and another N100m to paint and repair runways.
The Ministry of Aviation will also spend over N13m on refreshment and meals and another N9m on publicity. In all, the Ministry will spend N26bn on capital projects and over N6bn on recurrent expenditure for a total budget N32.3bn.
Meanwhile, a source close to the ministry confided in our correspondent yesterday that the monthly collection from the aviation industry agancies is raising some dust.
The collections, which previously under the heading, Safety and Security, was stopped in the wake of the N255m bulletproof cars scandal but has now been reintroduced under another heading, Publicity.
The monthly collection from NCAA was suspended in October and November following the brouhaha generated by the cars scandal.
Before then, other agencies like the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, were paying N300m and N160m respectively to a dedicated account provided by the ministry.
With the reintroduction of the N150m collection from NCAA, the agency is now back to the era where it was cash-strapped and unable to meet obligations including staff training.
As at now, payments of at least two local and foreign outstanding claims are yet to be paid by the agency due to paucity of funds. Apart from this, Oduah has also allegedly carried out some minor shakeups in the agency especially among the top hierarchy.
For instance, the minister relieved the former Technical Assistant to the Immediate Past Director- General, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, of his duty.
The Regional Manager (Abuja) for NCAA, A. Adeyemi was transferred to Calabar while U. Ugene from Port Harcourt is to take over from him with immediate effect. Ironically, all these instructions from the minister, according to the ministry source, are being carried out in the absence of the Director-General, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, who is holidaying in the United States.
Apart from this, Oduah has also purportedly directed the Administrative Department of NCAA to immediately submit the staff list to her with their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses even in the absence of Akinkuotu. The purpose for this directive is not yet known.

National mirror
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