The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Wednesday, 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, 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 maintained that the Senate resolution is merely advisory and cannot stop the government from doing its work.
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, had threatened strike over the demolition.
Fielding a question on the Senate stoppage of the demolition of FAAN buildings, Sirika, “First of all, let’s put it in perspective, the intent of the government is 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.
“Just the other day, some houses were demolished by the Lagos government on our camp. We have been on that issue for sometime, we went up to Supreme Court and won and they had to give way for development. This is a national interest.
There’s no individual that 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, we are very bold to do all those things that are good for our people. We are also very responsive and responsible government, where it will affect the lives of the people, of course, we are going to do it.
“We have been known to do things that better civilization everywhere we go. So, this one also is going to make life very good.
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