THE Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has demanded the immediate resignation of Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Odua, and an overhaul of the sector to rid it of corruption and imminent collapse.
The body also called for the urgent sack of all heads of agencies and parastatals under the ministry following “their contribution to the sham going on in the industry and failure to expose true extent of rot in the sector.”
CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, in a statement yesterday, said the predicament facing the ministry “has placed it on the same level with the Ministry of Petroleum, as the most corrupt in the country.”
He said: “The National Assembly, regardless of the confidence of crisis it is facing, must activate necessary steps to remove these people or risk Nigerians trooping out on the streets demanding action.”
“The aviation industry,” Ezugwu said, “has further deteriorated without proof that the minister has what it takes to turn it around. The country is rather being inundated daily with new details of corrupt practices sanctioned by this presiding officer.
“Contracts are being awarded daily without due process and regard for the Public Procurement Act as evident in the summons issued to the minister to appear before it to explain the fraud and abuse of procurement process under her watch.
“We have it on good authority that the House Committee on Public Procurement has written to the minister more than 10 times to question the fraudulent activities going on in the ministry.
“The corruption in this ministry has now led to a situation where barely three commercial airlines currently operate in the country with attendant hardship faced by citizens.”
“The rot in the Ministry of Aviation is also evident in the ongoing removal and replacement of the granite surface at airports and replacing same with Chinese tiles, which are not proven to be superior. It is also unacceptable that Odua’s brother is the one supervising this project, which is being executed by a proxy company of the minister.”
The CNPP Secretary- General continued: “The Aviation Minister also made concerted efforts to scuttle National Assembly investigation into the crash of ill-fated Dana flight as she desperately pressured members of the Joint Committee on Aviation to abandon the investigation apparently because she fears the corruption there would be exposed.
“This same woman, in conjunction with the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was also reported to have secretly signed an agreement with Chinese firms to build four airports in Nigeria without disclosing the content and terms of the agreement. The agreement was also not subjected to due process.”
The Conference warned: “Mrs. Odua should not run the aviation industry as an extension of her neighbor to neighbor campaign. This is because the industry is about Nigerians and their government and not the property of one political party or enclave.”