Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), has warned the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) against disrupting flight operations at airports.
Keyamo gave the warning at the Ministerial retreat for Minister, Permanent Secretary, Directors and Head of Agencies of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development on Thursday in Effurun, Delta State.
He said that as the political head of the Aviation industry in Nigeria, he would not tolerate the activities of the Labour leaders blocking access roads to the Airport.
Labour leaders, on Thursday morning, blocked access roads to the Abuja Airport in protest over maltreatment of the President NLC, Mr Joe Ajaero.
“Please, I want to beg the labour leaders, live Aviation alone. You can not target Aviation in trying to address your grievances.
“In targeting the Aviation industry, you are targeting a global village.
“I am addressing the labour leaders across the country, do not allow the Labour Party (LP) to destroy the labour movement.
“I repeat, do not allow the LP and party politics to destroy the labour movement.
“As a minister, I will not allow the labour movement to target the Aviation. If they do, I will fight back. They should not bring politics into Aviation.
“They can deceive others but they can not deceive me. So, I am appealing that the labour movement should not destroy themselves on the platform of politics,” he said.
Keyamo said that the industry was key and central to any sustainable growth and development in other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Keyamo said that he identified a five- point Agenda for the rapid transformation of the sector in line with the eight priority areas of President Tinubu.
According to him, some of the priorities were: ensuring strict compliance with the nation’s laws and regulations and international obligation among others.
According to him, others are support for the growth and sustenance of local airline business; human capacity development and optimisation of revenue generation.
The minister said that the objective of the retreat was to brainstorm, deliberate and carried out a “SWOT” Analysis of the industry to proffer practical solutions to attain the desired results.
“We need to be proactive and circumspect in our deliberations regarding where we are today as an industry, where we desire to be and most importantly, how to get there.
“There is no doubt that growth and development in the Aviation sector should be private sector driven to attract foreign direct investment.
“As policy makers, we have a responsibility to ensure that deployment of policies, programmes and projects are well articulated and in compliance with ICAO standard.
“Mr President is passionate about transforming this nation. I share in that passion through the transformation of the Aviation sector.
“In the same vein, I expect you all to share same passion in transforming your Department and Agencies for the good of the sector and the Nation at large,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Thomas Ereyitomi, Chairman, House Committee on Aviation Technology, said that the retreat would served as a testimony of a collective commitment to elevate the standard of Aviation in Nigeria.
Ereyitomi said that effective aviation management was a cornerstone upon which the industry thrives.
“The decisions and strategies we formulate during this retreat will have a great impact on our national development,” he said.
Dr Emmanuel Meribole, Permanent Secretary, in the ministry of Aviation, urged participants to utilise the opportunities of the retreat to contribute their quotas to the successes of the administration.
“In the long run, the achievements of our national vision of the industry which is to make Nigeria the Aviation hub in Africa will be achieved,” he said.
The three-day event, which started on Thursday, would end on Saturday.