CSOs Vote Keyamo ‘Minister Of The Poor’ Over Aviation Reforms

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A coalition of 15 civil society groups in the country has voted the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, SAN, as the ‘Minister of the Masses’ for his initiatives and reforms in the nation’s aviation sector.

The CSOs, under the auspices of the Civic Room for Good Governance, said of all the ministers in President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet, Keyamo’s policies and programs have positively impacted ordinary Nigerians the most.

In a statement signed by its national coordinator, Assoc. Prof. Thomas Uzah, the groups said Keyamo has demonstrated a genuine and deep understanding of the challenges faced by ordinary citizens.

The appraisal comes days before President Tinubu’s first anniversary in office.

Highlighting some of the pro-masses policies of Keyamo, Uzah said the recent mandatory e-Tag system for VIPs at the Nigerian Airports showed that the minister means business.

He said not only would the initiative improve revenue for upgrading decaying airport infrastructure, but it shows a sincere commitment towards the plight of the citizens.

Uzah also applauded the introduction of Helicopter landing levies as another game-changer in line with global best practices and cost recovery measures.

He noted that Keyamo noticed a lacuna in the lower airspace where helicopter operations are dominant and took the advantage for the overall good of Nigerians.

While commending the Aviation minister for supporting the growth and sustenance of local airlines, Uzah added that he has continued to advocate for fair pricing for Nigerian air travellers.

“Today, we celebrate a leader who has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the growth and development of our nation’s aviation sector. Festus Keyamo’s tireless efforts and visionary leadership have brought hope and transformation to an industry that was once plagued by inefficiencies and stagnation,” the statement said.

“He has shown unwavering commitment to prioritizing the needs of the masses. His tireless efforts to implement policies and programs that benefit the most vulnerable members of our society are truly commendable.

“Under Keyamo, the Aviation leadership has demonstrated a genuine understanding of the challenges faced by ordinary citizens, and his responses have been swift and effective. The ministry’s initiatives have brought hope and relief to countless individuals and communities.

“We particularly appreciate his commitment to inclusive decision-making processes; support for the masses; efforts to address poverty and inequality as well as dedication to transparency and accountability.

“It is no longer business as usual. The elite or VIPs must now pay for e-tickets like the ordinary Nigerian. Commendable! The Minister said it is unacceptable for wealthy Nigerians to receive free passage while ordinary citizens pay full fees.

“The Minister also charged NAMA to live up to its responsibilities, to enable them to show strong support for the growth and sustenance of local airline businesses whilst holding them to the highest international standards in the aviation industry. But he is not discarding our foreign partners.

“The Minister stressed the importance of fair pricing for Nigerian travellers and wants foreign airline to consider offering low airfares to ensure parity with the cost of tickets in neighbouring countries.

“His actions to address long-standing challenges, such as flight delays and cancellations, and initiatives to enhance safety and security are praiseworthy. His vision for a world-class aviation sector is inspiring, and we are confident that under his leadership, Nigeria will become a hub for aviation excellence in Africa.

“The Minister’s efforts have positively impacted the lives of many Nigerians and foreign travellers, promoting safety, efficiency, and economic growth in the aviation sector.

“In all of these, he has ensured a strict compliance with safety regulations and the continuous upward movement of Nigeria’s rating by the ICAO.

“His dedication to the well-being of the masses is a shining example of leadership and public service. We, therefore, pledge to continue working closely with his ministry to ensure the successful implementation of these policies and programs.

“We urge Mr Keyamo to persist in their dedication to the welfare of the people, and we encourage all stakeholders to join forces in supporting these vital efforts,” he stated.

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