• Monday, March 04, 2024
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BusinessDay

‘No going back on FAAN relocation to Lagos,’ Keyamo insists

Festus Keyamo

…says ‘N500m will be saved’ annually

Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, recently reinstated plans to move the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from Abuja to Lagos.

Despite objections from some quarters, Keyamo expressed his unwavering commitment to the relocation during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.

He explained that the decision stemmed from economic and operational considerations.

According to Keyamo, relocating FAAN’s headquarters to Lagos would result in significant cost savings and improved efficiency, as officials currently spend substantial amounts on air tickets commuting between Lagos and Abuja.

Keyamo said that top FAAN officials and aviation unions have supported the move, highlighting its potential benefits for operational effectiveness and resource optimization.

Regarding President Bola Tinubu’s awareness of the decision, he stated, “I take the decision; it’s a decision under the purview of a minister”.

He clarified that only the headquarters of one of the seven aviation agencies in the country is being moved from Abuja to Lagos.

Keyamo highlighted that when his predecessor, Hadi Sirika, relocated the headquarters of all aviation agencies from Lagos to Abuja in 2020, no adequate provision was made for the principal officers like the directors and the departments under them.

He emphasized that the headquarters is where the decision-makers meet, not where the largest number of workers are and not where the biggest building is. He noted that over 100 of the 132 workers at the head office are in Lagos while only the directors are in Abuja — without their support staffers.

Keyamo also mentioned that the entire situation is compounded by the fact that FAAN is not yet digitalized, resulting in an expenditure of half a billion naira on flight tickets between Lagos and Abuja alone in one year.

“You see them flying every day to-and-fro Abuja to get one file signed. They fly everyday back and forth. In one year, they spent close to half a billion naira on flight tickets. N450m on flight tickets alone,” he said.