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Stella Oduah Defends N174bn Aviation Sector Debt

The Former Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah has said the debt of N174billion under the aviation Master Plan was for the industry to be fully self sustaining by 2016; and begin to yield additional revenue for government through improved Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Reacting to the National Assembly’s demand over the indebtedness, incurred by the  Minister through loans  during her tenure as Aviation Minister the mode of repayment for the Chinese Loan.  
She said the ministry embarked on upgrade and rehabilitation of the 22 federally-owned airports across the country under the Airport Remodelling Programme (ARP).
Which she maintained was part of measures to effectively implement the Master Plan, several sources of funding were identified. These include, (i) Annual budgetary allocations; (ii) Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), including airport development levy and security surcharge; (iii) Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) funds; (iv) Low interest loans, amongst others.
Stella Oduah in a statement issued by Dr. Daniel Tarka , Special Assistant media stated that besides the statutory approvals, the ministry designed the projects with in-built capacities to generate funds without having to place any further financial burden on the Federal Government within the period.
“It must also be stressed that these projects were not designed to start and end in 2013, and so, were not tied to the 2013 budget alone.” statement reads.
“The Master Plan, it must be noted again, wasn’t designed with only the 2013 budget cycle in mind. It was conceptualized to be implemented as a process and not a destination. Therefore, the projection of revenue streams within the life span of the Master Plan are such that all projects would be adequately financed from budgetary allocations and the identified revenue sources; with the high possibility of surpluses that can subsequently be deployed for the repayment of the loans on maturity after the period of moratorium. The question of liabilities therefore, do not arise.”
“We are convinced that an efficient and effective implementation of the Master Plan would guarantee the realisation of these revenue projections, facilitate the seamless implementation of the projects and ensure the rapid development of the sector into a net revenue earner for the government within the next three years.”
“We therefore implore the current managers of the sector to exploit these well-laid foundations that were left behind by the former minister and her team.”  statement concluded.

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