Aviation Minister Exposes N1 Billion Expenditure by FAAN Officials in 2023

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has expressed concern over the excessive spending by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) officials in the past year.

Keyamo revealed that an alarming sum of approximately N1 billion was disbursed on air tickets and Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) by FAAN staff during their frequent travels between Abuja and Lagos in 2023. This revelation has been cited as a primary reason behind the decision to relocate FAAN’s headquarters from Abuja back to Lagos.

Keyamo, who earlier highlighted the extensive consultation process leading to the relocation decision, shed light on the substantial expenses incurred by FAAN. According to him, principal officers engaged in daily commutes between Lagos and Abuja, resulting in a staggering N493,678,620.37 spent on DTA and N451,058,950.09 on air tickets. The cumulative effect amounted to nearly N1 billion in just one year.

Addressing concerns about FAAN’s operational dynamics, Keyamo emphasized the inadequate accommodation situation for support staff and subordinate departments stationed in Lagos, despite directors being based in Abuja. This imbalance led to the necessity of constant travel for meetings and decision-making processes, contributing to the high travel-related expenditures.

The minister underscored FAAN’s customer-centric nature, emphasizing the significance of regular staff meetings in facilitating decision-making. The absence of digitization within FAAN further exacerbates the situation, compelling staff to engage in frequent travel for routine tasks that could be streamlined with modern workflow systems.

Highlighting the historical context, Keyamo noted that FAAN’s headquarters had originally been in Lagos until the directive by the former Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, to relocate it to Abuja in 2020. The recent decision to revert to Lagos aims to optimize operational efficiency and address the financial strain associated with excessive travel costs.

In response to claims regarding the newly appointed Managing Director, Kabir Yusuf Muhammed, allegedly spending over N200 million on a new official vehicle, FAAN has dismissed these allegations. The agency refuted reports suggesting that Muhammad’s vehicle acquisition took precedence over the urgent need for patrol vehicles at airports amid rising security threats. Muhammad assumed the role of MD in May 2023 following the removal of the former MD, Captain Rabiu Yadudu, and five agency directors by President Muhammadu Buhari.

As FAAN grapples with financial scrutiny and relocation decisions, the aviation sector in Nigeria awaits further developments in its quest for operational efficiency and fiscal responsibility.

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