I Will Sanction Airport Debtors...Osita Chidoka

The Minister of Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka, on Monday said agencies under the ministry providing services to any airline operator that is indebted to it would be sanctioned.
While calling for the grounding of the operations of any airline operator owing government, he said the period of owing the government was over, adding that all debts must be collected by the agencies.
“I will sanction any agencies providing services to debtor domestic airline operators.” he said.
It was gathered that the debt profile, which the domestic operators owed government runs into billions of naira.
Chidoka, made the disclosure in Abuja, while fielding questions from journalists at the launch of the Ministry’s Passengers Service Portal (APSP), and the helpline as a platform for Nigerians to have unhindered access to the ministry’s services in real time basis as done in developed parts of the world.
The portal, he said marks a new beginning for the ministry to begin to collect data designed for the overall improvement of services at the airport.
The objective,  the minister said is bring Nigeria at par with international best practices in airport service delivery.
To test the efficacy of the helpline, Chidoka, put a call through to one of the Contact Centres (CC), and immediately got a response to his enquiries on the day’s flight schedules and other relevant information needed by him.
According to him, the perception of Nigerian airports is hampered by the lack of visibility on information needed by people who use the airports, adding: “This portal has information about searching for flights, arrival and departure time.

“The portal will show all the airlines that fly Nigerian routes, their schedule time of departure, arrivals and in bound flights. This will put pressure on the airlines to know how they are performing.

“Now all the airports have websites on this portal all airlines have websites, it will even show hospitals and hotels that are closer to  the airports.”

He added: “We are hoping that all of these will create a satisfied passenger system that will bring Nigeria to the top of the aviation ranking globally. Today, we urge all Nigerians to go and use it to make sure that they get the best in the industry.”

Passengers, he stated, can now access the operations of all airlines through their websites to find out the status of their aircraft maintenance status with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), adding that  this would assist passengers make conscious decision and create an industry that guarantees safety and security for all passengers.

While acknowledging the importance of safety and security in airport operations, he said: “Airports are not about buildings and aircraft, they are about human being.
“We want to focus on what creates mobility and what makes the passengers to move freely at the airport.”

With this portal, cases of lower corruption and underhand intrigues at the airports can be reported anonymously, people harassing passengers, extorting and opening bags will be made to face the consequences.

He added that it is now mandatory for passengers to enter the airport with an ID, as any passenger that misbehaves at the airport will be blocked from boarding any flight in the country.

In a remark, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, who was represented by Director in the ministry, Mr. Yemi Fashedru, said the hosting of the portal, which is a collaborative effort between both ministries is  designed towards improving services at the airports and empowering air passengers with accurate data with which they can plan their journey.
She called on other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to emulate the aviation sector by embracing ICT to deliver efficient online and real time services to Nigerians.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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