9th December, 2014
The Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, on Tuesday said that the ministry would not relent in its effort to break the corruption chain in the aviation sector by 2015.
Chidoka said this at the inauguration of the anti-corruption intervention campaign in aviation sector in conjunction with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Lagos.
NAN reports that the campaign was organised by ICPC to mark the United Nations Anti-Corruption Day.
He said the campaign became necessary because the industry was in a worrisome situation to corruption activities.
The minister said that as the country’s oil revenue began to deplete, Nigerians should begin to realise that there was more reasons for the country to build institutions that would sustain good governance.
He explained that reason the ministry was fighting corruption was because very few people in the industry always benefit at the expense of many. “The problem of corruption is that it does not spread the largesse to everybody while the few takes what is available for the many.
“It slows down the wind of progress, it can seals in a day what takes a life time to build. What our forefathers have suffered to build, corruption can destroy them in one day,” he said.
According to him, no matter all the efforts we put in, corruption has the propensity to swallow all our efforts.
He said that while the country was looking ahead, the industry must build today the organisation it wanted to see in the 20 years to come.
Chidoka disclosed that the South Africa Airport Authority had generated N21 million dollars with 2,225 employees, while Nigeria generated N28 million dollars with 5,255 employees.
“While South Africa industry contributes 2.1 per cent to the GDP which is about N5.1 billion a year, the giant of Africa, Nigeria contributes 0.4 per cent to the GDP.
“The Transparency International Corruption Perspective Index 2014, the top 10 countries are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, Netherland, Luxembourg and Canada,” he said.
Chidoka said that after the introduction of the system, whoever breaches it, the ICPC would be available to exact punishment.
“What we are launching today is not about arresting people or holding on to people, it is about creating an alignment for us to know that whatever we do at the airports impact a lot on the country.
“We are not using the strategy of catch the fish because we could have a plan with the ICPC to send their men to the airport to arrest people that are collecting bribe from passengers but we are not doing so.
“We want the process of engagement, dialogue, education and enforcement because education without enforcement becomes entertainment,” he said.
The commission’s Chairman, Mr Ekpo Nta, said that the initiative for the anti-corruption intervention arouse out of a convergence of concerns about the need to strengthen the ethical consciousness of the private and public officials who work in the nation’s airports.
Nta said that this was in furtherance of the ongoing repositioning of the industry for greater contribution to the economy.
“Worldwide, the air industry is recognised as a major driver of economic growth, providing connectivity within and beyond borders.
“That will facilitate trade, tourism and myriad economic activities,” he said.
Nta said that although the sector was a key sector player in the country’s economy as it was yet to tap into its enormous potential of being significant contributor to the nation’s GDP.