The Presidency on Monday dismissed argument by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that the federal government’s new aviation policy supports its earlier assertion that President Goodluck Jonathan was becoming a despot.
Accusing the ACN of mischief making in criticizing the policy, Presidential spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati told State House Correspondents that the Federal Government planned to impose international best practice in the sector.
“I believe that in this matter, the Ministry of Aviation and the relevant agencies will issue a statement offering necessary clarification. But the truth however is that we are faced once again with the ACN engaging in its usual game of mischief.
“The policy that statement by the ACN appears to be referring to deals essentially with the fact that in the aviation sector, the authorities are insisting on international best practice.
“In this regards, what is this international best practice all about? One, that if you own a private jet, it must strictly be a private jet. You cannot use it for ‘kabu kabu’ and the frequency of the usage of course will determine whether you are using it as ‘kabu kabu’ or not. If it is a private jet, it is a private jet,” he said.
According to Abati, government is not saying people cannot carry anyone they wish in their private jets
“That is not what the policy says. This is clearly a case of misrepresentation.
“What the policy says is that whoever you carry in your private jet, you must submit a manifest,you must declare a manifest. It is important to note that you cannot say because it is your private jet, you will carry people in it and you will not declare a manifest. It is standard international practice that for air travel, a manifest must be made available.”
The Presidential spokesman added: “The third point has to do with insurance. Why all of this is important is that when you engage in air travel and you give people a ride or you are using it for private purposes, there must also be insurance. The aircraft itself must be insured and there must also be insurance for the people who are traveling. You cannot violate all these rules and say because it is a private jet. Rules are rules.”