The Labour Party on Thursday vowed that it will booth out any airport manager found incompetent in meeting up to global standards in management of the country’s airports if voted into power in the forthcoming presidential election.
A chieftain of the party and former Presidential Adviser, Professor said the party will give each manager a period of six months grace to up their games or be shown the exit doors.
The renowned political economist spoke at a one day Business Breakfast Meeting in Lagos put together by the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative ASRTI with the theme: ‘Aviation in Nigeria Beyond 2023 General Election Challenges & Prospects’.
Professor Utomi said “If we get into government, we would fire any airport manager if in six months, the airport he manages does meet standards seen in other parts of the world.”
He queried: “What is so difficult about having a toilet that is clean that people can use at our airports? Our politics should be about detailing how things happen and how people should be held accountable if it does not happen. We travel all over the world and come back to see something different. This will no longer be allowed.”
According to him, the Labour Party will build cities in the country and link them up by deploying an intermodal transport system affirming that the rail system is inevitable in a nation like Nigeria alongside smaller aircraft to fly into the various cities.
“This is no longer the moment for politics of transactions. It is time to redeem the nation. When people know there are consequences for their actions, then they will begin to do the right things,” Utomi explained.
In his remarks, President of ASRTI, Dr. Gabriel Olowo, bemoaned the performance of the aviation industry since the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office affirming that between 2015-2023, it performed below par using the President’s campaign promises as key performance indicators ( KPI) to evaluate the period.
Olowu called for the linking of airports terminals in the country to rail lines saying during the Buhari-led two-term administration, the response to
topical issues treated in its past meetings and its various recommendations actually stood at 6% while work on progress was 42%, while the untouched projects remained at 52% in 8 years.
He said promises such as the much publicized Government’s National Carrier project status remains stillbirth while the National Maintenance & Repair Organisation (MRO) is still unborn.
Dr Olowu said “The light rail line in Abuja does not connect to the airport terminal building either. Were there no plans before these projects were executed? One can only hope the newly commissioned Blue and Red Line Rails in Lagos would share links with the airport terminal buildings.”