Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Festus Keyamo, stated that he would rather sack the chief executives of aviation agencies under his ministry than losing his own job. Keyamo made this statement during a one-day stakeholders’ meeting held in Lagos, which marked the first such meeting since he assumed office.
In a previous development, the ministers serving in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government had signed a performance bond, indicating their commitment to performing their duties effectively. However, the aviation minister appealed to industry stakeholders for their support to safeguard his job, emphasizing the high stakes involved.
He explained, “We recently participated in a three-day retreat with Mr. President, along with all the other Ministers. At the conclusion of the retreat, we committed to a performance bond, which I personally signed yesterday. So, if you wish to prevent my dismissal in the coming months, your support is essential.”
He further elaborated on the situation, stating, “It’s a choice between my job and theirs. It’s a race to see who will survive. That’s the message I’ve conveyed to all my CEOs – someone will have to go first, but before I go, I will ensure that you are held accountable.”
Keyamo also highlighted the purpose of the retreat, stating, “We organized this retreat to gather insights from industry experts and participants. Your contributions will enhance the industry’s focus areas and roadmap, with the aim of making our Aviation Sector world-class and meeting the expectations of Nigerians and all stakeholders. We must refrain from assigning blame and instead concentrate on resolving the industry’s challenges.”
He pointed out, “As you are aware, Mr. President has unveiled his economic plan, an Eight-Point focus area aimed at addressing Nigeria’s socioeconomic challenges. This plan seeks to depart from the excessive borrowing of the previous government, address high unemployment rates, achieve economic growth, prosperity for all, and eradicate poverty. As an industry, we will align our focus areas with this plan to foster the sector’s development and, in turn, contribute to the economic progress of our nation.”
Keyamo also provided an overview of the activities undertaken within his Ministry since taking office, including inspections of Nigerian airports, setting up a task force for relocating foreign airlines to a new terminal, and the historic acquisition of land for the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.