The Nigerian Senate has expressed disappointment at the level of decadence and lack of modern facilities in Airports across Nigeria.
During Tuesday’s plenary, Barau Jibrin, a Kano State lawmaker, drew the Senate’s attention to how difficult and sometimes impossible it is for airlines to operate in the Nigerian airspace during the harmattan period due to lack of the technology required to land aircraft in hazy conditions.
Jibrin said it was embarrassing that planes take off and land under zero visibility in smaller African countries who are less endowed than Nigeria.
He noted that it was unacceptable that flights are being diverted to neighbouring countries with state of the art navigational facilities.
Consequently, the Senate committee on Aviation was mandated to “conduct an immediate audit of facilities in all the nation’s Airports with a view to ascertaining the true state of affairs at our Airports.”
The Senate also called on the Aviation Ministry to “take urgent steps to address all operational challenges that threaten the landing and take-off of Aircrafts at our Airports at all seasons of the year especially during the harmattan period.”
Airline operators were also urged to “at all times be conscious of the grave consequences of operational complacency that threatens aviation safety, and the contribution of the sub-sector to the revenue net of the country.
In a related development, the Senate has resolved to rename the Benin Airport after the late Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa, as a tribute to what the lawmakers describe as the late traditional ruler’s “selfless service to our great Nation.”
Sponsoring the motion, Mathew Urhoghide, noted that the late monarch played a major role in the creation of Edo State from the old Bendel State.
The Senate therefore resolved that “the federal airport presently known as’Benin Airport’ (be renamed) as ‘Oba Erediauwa Airport’.”
The lawmakers “urged the relevant Ministry or Department or Agency vested with the duty of effecting the resolution of this motion to do so; and treat the resolution of this motion with dispatch in order to ensure that the change is effected in the earliest possible time.”