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Why Senate Can’t Stop Demolition Work At Lagos Airport — Minister

Hadi Sirika

MINISTER of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, yesterday, said the Senate cannot stop the ongoing demolition of offices belonging to agencies doing aviation activities at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

Senator Sirika stated this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, in Abuja.

His remark followed a motion by the Senate directing the government to halt the demolition to allow the Senate Committee on Aviation, chaired by Senator Biodun Olujimi, to intervene.


Olujimi had drawn the attention of the upper legislative chamber to the warning strike threatened by the Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, and National Association of Aircrafts Pilots and Engineers.

But responding to a question on the matter, Sirika insisted that the Senate resolution is merely advisory and cannot stop the government from doing its work.

He said: “First, let’s put it in perspective, the government intends to remove the structure housing the office of the managing director of FAAN and those commercial buildings.

“It’s a structure that is made of wood, it has been there for 40 years. It has caught fire twice even during our administration. To give way for better development for what Lagos has become, it is the gateway; we want to put hotels there, shopping malls, offices, cinemas and the rest of it so FAAN can make more money and the rest of it.

“And the entire people in that entire building they are like 150 or 200. The government is going to continue of course, Senate is advisory, it’s an executive function, we are not bound by any court of law and the government cannot be stopped from giving development to its people.

“We have been on that issue for some time, we went up to Supreme Court and won and they had to give way for development. This is in the national interest.

No individual can drag it out with the government. If I want to pull down this hall and build a better one, who is going to stop me as a government?

“So I think it is not an issue, they are just overheating it and you know why. But we have a responsibility and mandate and we are not shy.”

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