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$500mn for aircraft, cheap blackmail - FAAN

By The Citizen
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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has denied borrowing $500 million from China to acquire aircraft for domestic airlines.

The FAAN, in a press release on Saturday described it as cheap blackmail.

'FAAN has not borrowed $500 million naira from China nor any country for that matter. Furthermore, FAAN is not acquiring aircraft, as claimed in the statement,' the agency’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Yakubu Datti, said on Saturday.

Datti in a statement described the reports linking FAAN to such a loan as cheap blackmail.

FAAN, according to Datti, is a service provider in the industry and is presently occupied with translating the transformational aviation master plan into concrete realities.

He said: 'At present, the Authority is focused on the reconstruction of 22 airports across the country as initiated by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah. The Lagos Terminal 1, popularly known as GAT has since been commissioned while the remaining airports are at different stages of completion. Work on the remaining 11 airports in the 2nd phase will soon begin.”

The General Manager said the orientation of aviation employees was being vigorously pursued through capacity development.

According to him, the Director, Mr. George Uriesi is spearheading this paradigm shift towards service delivery, accountability, and self-sustenance.

He said that the Ministry of Aviation was making arrangements to facilitate the acquisition of 30 airplanes to boost the operations of domestic airlines.

He added that the modalities were being fine-tuned, to checkmate the abuse of the aviation intervention fund.

'This strategy will plug the loophole that allows fortune seekers free access to these funds' he said.