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Nigeria’s minister of state for aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika has opened up on the media reports that he had a row with the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

Sirika who spoke on the issue for the first time while receiving the national president of the Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), Mr Benjamin Okeowo on a courtesy call, said the rumour was the handiwork of mischief makers.

He said: “The social media said that I and the minister are fighting but that is not true. The fact that there are no pictures of me at airports, offices and agencies under aviation is based on my personal choice.

“I believe that my photo will not give Nigerians anything, rather, it is my actions that will. I don’t need my pictures on walls. They were there before but I ordered that they be removed. Photo will not give us good airports and runways, rather good governance and that is my challenge and target.

“Having pictures everywhere as far as I am concerned is very trivial, unnecessary and it is not my style. My pictures should be put on walls when I have worked. Having my pictures on walls is not the major reason why I was appointed to serve. My dream is to change the industry for better and when that is done, then my pictures can be put everywhere.”

The minister however used the opportunity to express his thoughts that the ministry of transportation should be merged with the ministry of owrks.

 “For me, I think the merger ought to even go a step further than what it is today. The merger is between aviation and transportation but for me, I think the ministry of transportation should still carry Federal Ministry of Works and certain critical aspects.

“Why works, because if you remove environment, lands and housing from works, what will remain is highways and highways like waterways and airways are all ways and they are under transportation,” Sirika said.
On his part, the ATSSAN  chairman lamented that the merger of aviation and transportation ministry has led to less efficiency in the aviation sector.

He said: “Government has come out with their policy on merger of aviation and transport but we must say that as stakeholders, the merger is not favouring us because there is so many delay we are seeing as a result of this merger. Things are not taking proper shape and things are not done with speed as it is expected of the aviation industry.

“Honestly, we thought policies are to ensure efficiency but we are not getting that efficiency. It is like the policy is expanding the bureaucracy and that for us is not good for the aviation industry.”

Meanwhile, a recent report in the media stated that Amaechi is currently having a running battle over a loan he took from a new generation bank, even as he has threatened to sue the bank.
The report further stated that Amaechi took the loan to finance his purchase of a priced property on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos.
1:47 PM

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