The Bilateral Aviation Service Agreements (BASA), Security and Safety fund account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is aimed at developing the civil aviation sector in the country.
Apart from the fact that agencies under the ministry are at liberty to access the funds, it is also geared towards improved accountability.
Sirika’s position was conveyed in a statement signed by Sani Datti, on behalf of the director of public affairs in the ministry, James Odaudu on Monday.
According to Datti: “Sirika stated this when responding to the Senate Committee on Finance and National Planning at the public hearing on 2021-2023 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy.
He noted that the ideal for all the agencies utilizing the fund was for them to work in unison and create a system where aviation work perfectly and efficiently.
“I want to inform this committee that the Ministry of Aviation itself is not a key revenue organization but all deduction from payments to the third party which was automatically done online to government account in Central Bank is being done at the Ministry”, the Minister was quoted as saying.
Speaking on security, the trained pilot noted thus: “The function of security is not all for FAAN but all the agencies in civil aviation. Security exists in all part of the agencies and this can be utilized better if are centrally collected and redistributed.
This was as he was further quoted as explaining the controversy of whether the Minister has authority to approve from the fund, or not.
“It is the act of the law that says they cannot expend foreign exchange without the approval of the Minister so that there is control on foreign exchange that we have”, he said.
Earlier, the Committee Chairman, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, said the Minister was invited to come and explain what the committee has discovered last week in some of the accounts of the agencies under his supervision, that they maintained two forms of accounts; one accrued by the agencies through internally generated revenue and one Security and Safety funds. He added that the utilization of the account not within the prerogative of them but the Minister.